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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chavan meets Sonia, Pranab over Antrix-Devas agreement

16 Feb 2011
New Delhi: Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Tuesday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and is said to have apprised them of the decisions taken by Space Commission in the controversial Antrix-Devas deal.

Congress sources said Chavan, who was earlier minister of state in the prime minister's office and a member of Space Commission, told the Congress leaders that there was no loss to the exchequer as no allocation of scarce S-band spectrum was made to the Devas Multimedia Limited as part of 2005 agreement with Antrix, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The sources said Chavan told the two leaders that the Space Commission had recommended cancellation of the deal within hours of it being brought to its notice.

The agreement, which dealt with lease transponders on two satellites was referred to the Space Commission in July last year.

Chavan was made chief minister of Maharashtra in November last year after his predecessor Ashok Chavan steeped down over the Adarsh Society scam.

The opposition has been targeting the government on the Antrix-Devas deal with the Bharatiya Janata Party also posing questions to Chavan.

BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad told media persons in Mumbai Sunday that Devas' chairman has said he had written twice to Chavan, who was the minister of state in the PMO from 2005.

He said that Chavan should explain the steps he took during his tenure.

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