2G spectrum scam of Himalayan proportions: Jayalalithaa

Sunday, December 26, 2010

CHENNAI - The Rs.1.76 trillion 2G spectrum allocation scam perpetrated by former union communications minister A. Raja is of Himalayan proportions and there is no need for anybody to blow it more out of proportion, AIADMK General Secretary J. Jayalalithaa said Sunday.

She claimed that the DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi showed his ignorance on the issue of 2G spectrum allocation with his defence of Raja, who said he had only followed what his predecessors had done.

Reacting to Karunanidhi’s allegation that she was blowing the spectrum issue out of proportion, Jayalalithaa said: “Nobody in the world’s history has perpetrated such a scam of huge proportion like Raja. The scam itself is of Himalayan proportion and nobody has to blow it up.”

Jayalalithaa asked in her statement whether Raja’s predecessors did any of the following: (a) changing the last date for submission of applications by the mobile telephony companies; (b) issuing a press release giving one hour for mobile telephone companies to submit a demand draft for Rs. 1,650 crore; (c) rejecting S-Tel’s offer of Rs. 13,000 crore for spectrum and being steadfast in offering the spectrum for Rs. 1,650 crore; (d) overlooking the law ministry’s suggestion that the spectrum allocation be overlooked by the empowered group of ministers and (e) allocating spectrum to 85 uneligible companies.

The AIADMK chief said the amount (Rs. 1.76 trillion) estimated by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) is only presumptive and not the loss itself. The auctioning of 3G spectrum fetched the government Rs.1.1 trillion and the 2G spectrum auctioning would have got a higher sum and it has wider usage, according to her.

Jayalalithaa also alleged that letter-pad companies like Swan Telecom and Unitech that had got the spectrum allocation for Rs. 1,650 crore each has encashed huge sums selling stakes to others.

Swan Telecom sold 45 percent stake to Etisalat for Rs. 9,000 crore and Unitech sold 60 percent stake to Telenor for Rs. 6,120 crore, she claimed.

On Karunanidhi’s denial that his wife got Rs. 600 crore from his grand nephew Dayanidhi Maran for a berth in the United Progressive Alliance government, Jayalalithaa commented: “Why is that Karunanidhi has not filed any defamation suit against corporate lobbyist Niira Radia or the Income Tax Department that tapped the phone or the publications the published the transcripts of the tapped phone conversations.”

–Indo Asian News Service

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