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Explain Chidambaram's role in 2G scam: BJP to PM

Last updated on: June 15, 2011 20:25 IST

'CBI could be taking a soft line on Chidambaram'

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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday alleged that the taped conversation between former Telecom Minister A Raja and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia shows that the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram played a role in the 2G spectrum scam. The BJP has now sought an explanation from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue.

"There are fairly extensive references in the conversation between former minister A Raja and Niira Radia on whatever is alleged as the role played by P Chidambaram. The allegations referred to are related to money being taken and also functioning of Chidambaram regarding minerals and gas matters," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The Central Bureau of Investigation could be taking a soft line on Chidambaram in this case, she said and maintained that this was visible when the investigating agency did not comply with Supreme Court orders to provide more details on his reported involvement.

"An analysis of this money making by Chidambaram has been entered by the CBI as an analysis elsewhere. We are not able to understand how the CBI has not produced the details to the Supreme Court," Sitharaman said.

She noted that the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the CBI investigations into 2G scam, has asked the Income Tax department to produce the transcript related to the conversation between Raja and Radia.

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Image: Home Minister P Chidambaram and former Telecom Minister A Raja

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'Chidambaram played a role in fixation of 2G spectrum prices'

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The opposition party claimed that the conversation makes it clear that Chidambaram was involved in the making of the policy for 2G spectrum allocation.

She termed this a 'very serious issue' and sought an explanation from the government. "A conspiracy of silence continues on part of the prime minister in Chidambaram's case," she said.

The BJP maintained that the conversation makes it clear that Chidambaram was involved in policy making on 2G spectrum allocation.

"It is very clear with regard to the fixation of prices of 2G spectrum allocation, there was clearly a role played by P Chidambaram as the Finance Minister in fixing the price of spectrum in 2007 at 2001 prices," Sitharaman said.

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Image: BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman

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'Why can't we make an inference that probably Chidambaram is culpable?'

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She charged that Chidambaram was reported to have been advising Raja on how to go about the allocation of 2G spectrum.

"An allegation has gone so as far as to say that he (Chidambaram) was jointly responsible for the decision of going in for allocating spectrum in 2007 at 2001 rates," Sitharaman said. The spokesperson insisted that these revelations raise several queries which need to be answered.

"It raises the question in our minds. Why can't we make an inference that probably Chidambaram is culpable? It raises a very serious concern, in all our minds, I am sure. This certainly needs a lot of explanation," Sitharaman said.

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Image: Former Telecom Minister A Raja

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'Statements attributed to K Raja are totally false and per se defamatory'

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Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday, however, dismissed allegations that he was a beneficiary in the 2G scam and termed statements attributed to a former Reliance Industries employee in this regard as 'totally false and per se defamatory'.

In a signed statement, he also said that a conversation between the RIL employee K Ramachandran Raja and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia is 'reckless and malicious gossip'.

Chidambaram said sections of the media have carried a report on a conversation between 'Raja' and Niira Radia. It has also been reported that a recording of that conversation exists.

"I have made some enquiries. I have learned that the 'Raja' who figures in the conversation is one K Ramachandran Raja (K R Raja), an employee of M/s Reliance Industries Limited. The statements attributed to the said K Ramachandran Raja are totally false and per se defamatory. The conversation between him and Radia is reckless and malicious gossip," he said.

The home minister said a legal notice has been issued on his behalf to the said K Ramachandran Raja demanding an unconditional apology.

"I know that my friend Prakash Javadekar, spokesperson of the BJP, will be disappointed. I offer him my sympathies," he said.


Image: Home Minister P Chidambaram

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