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Karuna's channel denies link, Jaya cries foul

india Updated: Feb 12, 2011 01:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Fresh disclosures in the 2G-spectrum scam have intensified the political battle in Tamil Nadu. On Friday, Kalaignar TV, the television channel owned by chief minister M. Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu and daughter-MP Kanimozhi, denied receiving any illegal payments from Shahid Balwa - chief of the real estate firm Dynamix Balwa Realty, currently in CBI custody, for his role in the scam. At the same time, AIADMK leader J. Jayalalitha issued a statement saying Karunanidhi and his family should be named as co-accused in the 2G scam.

Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar, while acknowledging that his company had received funds from the firm Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd - which is also owned by Shahid Balwa - said this had no link to the 2G scam. The statement said that in 2009 - well after the scam related spectrum allocations, which took place in 2007-08 - Cineyug, looking to buy shares in Kalaignar TV, had advanced it a sum of Rs 206 crore. "Owing to differences in valuation of the shares of two companies the money received was considered as a loan and paid back by Kalaignar TV along with interest of Rs.31 crore," Sharath Kumar said. Kumar added that the transaction was entirely above board, had been reported to the Income Tax department and the required tax paid.

Jayalalitha, however, had a contrasting interpretation of the same deal. "The then telecom minister Raja sells valuable 2G spectrum to Swan Telecom, a new company launched by Dynamix Balwa, at a throwaway price of Rs. 1,537 crore. Soon after Dynamix Balwa sells 45% of its holdings to the UAE-based Etisalat for Rs 4,200 crores," her statement noted.

"For facilitating this profitable sale, Dynamix Balwa pays a kickback to Raja's lord and master, Karunanidhi," the statement added. "Balwa transfers funds totalling Rs 209.25 crores from 11 different companies controlled by him to Kusegaon Fruits & Vegetables, a company owned by Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal. Kusegaon transfers Rs 206.25 crores to Cineyug Films, owned by the Balwas and Morani. Cineyug's balance sheet for 2009-10 shows Rs 206 crore was given to Kalaignar TV."

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