Tata Sons chairman Ratan Tata on Monday admitted that he did not share good "chemistry" with union minister Dayanidhi Maran but said he did not influence the selection of ministers at the time formation of the second UPA government in 2009.
Against the backdrop of the leakage of the tapped telephone conversations of his and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with various personalities, he appeared before the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to answer questions in connection with its probe into the 2G scam.
In reply to a question by members, Tata said he did not share good "chemistry" with Maran.
He was asked about his letter to Tamil Nadu chief minister and DMK supremo K Karunanidhi in which he reportedly appreciated the then telecom minister A Raja.
He was also asked as to why did he not write to the Prime Minister a union minister and instead chose to address the letter to a state chief minister.
To a question on how the letter came into public domain, he merely said Sunil Mittal (of Bharti Telecom) was the first one to refer to the letter. But he did not blame anyone for the "leak", sources said. He maintained he would not have benefited from the leak.
When Radia was asked by the PAC about the letter, she said she was not aware of the contents as it was placed in a sealed envelope. She had only handed over the letter by Tata to Karunanidhi. The Committee members also sought to know from the Tata Sons chairman as to why he wrote the letter when there was so much controversy surrounding Raja's decisions as telecom minister in 2007.
He said there was no controversy. But members pointed that the letter was written after the cut-off date for submission of bids for 2G spectrum allocation was advanced and there were hectic communications between the telecom ministry, the PMO, the finance ministry and the Cabinet Secretariat.
Raja's predecessor, Dayanidhi Maran and Tata had clashed five years ago over Sun TV group — owned by Maran's brother Kalanidhi Maran- showing interest in acquiring equity stakes in direct-to-home (DTH) venture of Tatas--Tata Sky.