After, Raja and Kani, it's Maran's turn now

The BJP on Tuesday asked the DMK leader to come clean on media reports that he had allegedly favoured private firms when he was the telecom minister during the UPA I regime.

The Tehelka magazine carried a report alleging that Maran as a telecom minister in 2006, had allegedly favoured Aircel promoters Maxis in the allocation of spectrum.  The report said that Maran allotted spectrum to the Aircle and in turn the company promoter -Malaysian business conglomerate Maxis Group - purchased share in Sun Direct which becomes conflict of interest. Malaysian business conglomerate Maxis Group has 74 per cent direct equity in Aircel Group.

While the Opposition, BJP,  asked to clarify the media report, the Congress pointed the finger at the minister,saying, he was the best person to give explanation. The beleaguered minister met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday evening but it was not known what transpired between them.

Addressing the media, BJP spokesman Ravi Shanker Prasad asked several question to the ministers asking him to respond:  “Is it a fact that Maxis Communications has invested substantial amount in the family-owned company of Dayanidhi Maran - the Sun TV of Sun Direct? Secondly, was this investment done before Maxis Communication purchased Aircel or thereafter? And if it is true, is it not a case of direct conflict of interest?”

“Answer these because we need to know if  the entire power to determine the price of spectrum was taken out of the purview of GoM upon the insistence of Dayanidhi Maran when he was the Telecom Minister,” Prasad said.

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said:  "If Maran has been asked a few questions, he's in the best position to answer them. But I must mention here that the JPC is doing its job. It will examine all issues including the telecom policy through the years”.

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