'Kanimozhi, Raja played lead role in Kalaignar TV' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Kanimozhi, Raja played lead role in Kalaignar TV'

delhi Updated: Mar 30, 2011 01:36 IST
Rajesh Ahuja

M Kanimozhi, Rajya Sabha member and daughter of Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi, was the "active brain" behind Kalaignar TV, while former telecom minister A Raja was also involved in the channel right from its inception.

This was claimed by the CBI's prime witness in the 2G spectrum case and Raja's former additional private secretary, Aseervatham Achary, in his statement recorded before a magistrate under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Earlier, the CBI alleged that Kalaignar TV received a Rs 200-crore kickback from a front company of Shahid Usman Balwa, one of the key accused in the case.

Kanimozhi, however, refused to comment on the statement, saying she was busy with poll campaigns in Tamil Nadu.

According to sources, Achary said after the tiff with the Maran brothers — Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi — in 2007, the DMK wanted to have its own television news channel and launched Kalaignar TV.

He claimed Raja even spoke to then I&B minister Priyaranjan Das Munshi several times to get procedural clearances for the channel. What's more, Sharad Kumar, who was brought in from the Marans' Sun TV as the Kalaignar TV managing director, met Raja several times in Delhi.

Achary also disclosed that Raja took help from corporate lobbyist Niira Radia to put Kalaignar TV on the TataSky DTH platform. Referring to a particular instance, Achary said Radia once called Raja's office and left a message that she had sorted out the problem.

A TataSky spokesperson, however, said, "It's our policy not to comment on speculation." A spokesperson from Radia's Vaishnavi Corporate Communications also said, "We don't wish to comment as the matter is sub judice."

Achary also said realty major Unitech's Sanjay Chandra used to visit Raja's residence and office between September and October 2007.

Chandra's company and its seven subsidiaries later got UAS license for 22 circles.

When asked to respond, Chandra's spokesperson denied the report, calling them baseless allegations.