Raja didn’t want to be telecom minister, Radia tells CBI
Former telecom minister A Raja, prime accused in the 2G scam, was not interested in taking up the portfolio after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia disclosed this in her statement to the CBI. Abhishek Sharan reports.delhi Updated: Apr 18, 2011 01:07 IST
Former telecom minister A Raja, prime accused in the 2G scam, was not interested in taking up the portfolio in the run-up to the cabinet’s formation after the April-May 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia disclosed this in her statement to the CBI. In her statement, she recounted about having a telephonic conversation with DMK’s Rajya Sabha member K Kanimozhi — at a time the latter was in Delhi with her father M Karunanidhi, chief minister of Tamil Nadu — but denied that it was to “get Raja the ministry of telecom.” Besides, Radia said in her opinion, she “was not competent for that big task.”
She said, “As I remember Raja was not interested in telecom ministry.” According to Radia, she had only discussed the likely DMK candidates for a place in the cabinet that was to be formed.
After the 2009 elections, Radia said she had also spoken to Raja’s personal secretary RK Chandolia about the kind of portfolios, which four DMK MPs, including Raja, might get.
Talking about DMK’s former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran (2004-07), Radia said, “keeping in view the background of relations between Shri (Dayanidhi) Maran and Tatas (the Tata group, which she represented) I was concerned about the portfolio of Maran for the sake of my clients."
Despite several attempts, Maran could not be contacted for his comment. A spokesperson of Radia's Vaishnavi Corporate Communications Private Limited said, "The statements that are being circulated in public are matters of ongoing trials. These matters are sub-judice before the Hon'ble court and in order to uphold the dignity of the Hon'ble court we refrain from making any comments or responding at this stage."
She recounted about having a telephonic conversation with DMK's K Kanimozhi but denied it was to "get Raja the ministry of telecom."
After the 2009 polls, Radia said she had also spoken to Raja's personal secretary RK Chandolia about the kind of portfolios Raja might get .