The woman who wields clout

The woman who wields clout

The woman who wields clout

A British citizen, Radia moved from England to Surajkund, India with her three sons after a divorce from Kutchi businessman, Janak Radia. In 2003, Dheeraj Singh, a business partner, was arrested with an accomplice for allegedly kidnapping her 18-year-old son.

Radia is chief of Vaishnavi Corporate Consultants, Neosis Strategic Consulting, Vitcom and Neucom Consulting. Vitcom has been handling the business of one of the top four electronic channels in India, while Neucom was understood to have been set up for the purpose of looking after the affairs of one of India’s top industrialists having interests in Petrochemicals.

Vaishnavi handles the media affairs as also environment management for Tata group, Unitech and other corporate clients. Neosis was headed by none other than ex-Telecom Regulatory Authority Chairman Pradeep Baijal. Several other influential and retired  bureaucrats from different key infrastructure sectors were employed by her. The net of well-connected men and women, it seems, was giving a good yield of business in multiple sectors.

Radia this week appeared before Enforcement Directorate to explain her role in the allocation of 2G spectrum which led to Rs 1.76 lakh crore presumed loss to the national exchequer. The ED is looking at whether there was any violation of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in 2008 .

The ED is quizzing her on what her PR outfits had to do with the telecom firms allocated 2G spectrum. The ED may also find out  whether she played any role in bringing foreign funding for any of the telecom operators.

Also under the scanner are two journalists with whom Radia had huge  financial transaction from her account abroad. One is said to be a lady reporter with an English TV channel who exposed the CWG scam and the other is a head of TV channels whose name already figures in the telephone tapping case.

In 1998, Radia’s name was  linked with a Union Minister in the BJP-led NDA government.
Suave and well-heeled, her “reach” in corporate and industrial world, media,  bureaucracy and celebrity world seemed to be enormous. What is objected to now, perhaps, is “the overreach”.

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