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Friday, June 3, 2011

"It was Maran who started what is today known as the 2G scam" -P.A.C Chairman

Lucknow: Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Murli Manohar Joshi has told that he too had suggested a probe into Dayanidhi Maran's alleged role in the 2G scam in his report to the Prime Minister.

"It was Maran who started what is today known as the 2G scam. It was on his instance that the power to allocate spectrum was taken away from the Group of Ministers and given to Department of Telecom. His role should be probed and this has been mentioned in the PAC report," Mr Joshi said.

Mr Maran, the Textiles Minister and a senior leader of the DMK, was Minister for Communications and Technology from June 2004 to May 2007.

The allegation against Maran is that Aircel, previously denied a telecom licence for over two years between 2006-08, was finally given one after its owners changed hands to Malaysia-based Maxis in 2008. The charge is that Mr Maran cleared the decks only after a sister company of Maxis invested Rs. 800 crore in the Maran family-owned Sun TV, which the BJP calls a conflict of interest.

But the former Telecom Minister denied all allegations. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Mr Maran said, "I own no shares or any interest in Sun Direct TV or Astro. I was not even a minister when Astro invested in Sun Direct TV." Mr Maran met Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal before he issued the statement.

His party DMK has also backed him. Yesterday, it lashed out at Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa for demanding Maran's resignation over the 2G spectrum scam.

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