Allegations on Raja illegitimate: Karunanidhi

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Chennai, Nov 24: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Monday, Nov 24 came to the defence of his party colleague and Union IT and Communications Minister A Raja, who was caught in the Spectrum allocation controversy, stating that he was unnecessarily blamed in the deal.

Answering a set of questions, he said though Mr Raja had made it clear that there was no irregularity in the 2G Spectrum allocation, a disinformation campaign, led by a daily and a television channel, was deliberately being carried out to blame the DMK and the Minister.

The Chief Minister dismissed as ''incorrect'' Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yachury's claim that Mr Raja had introduced the ''first-cum-first-served'' system for spectrum allocation, thus causing loss worth several crores of rupees to the Government.

Mr Karunanidhi said Mr Raja had proved through records and files that the ''first-cum-first-served'' system in spectrum allocation had been in force before 2003.

Mr Arun Shourie had followed the same procedure, when he was the IT and Communications Minister during the previous BJP regime in 2003 and Mr Raja had shown to the media that Mr Shourie had written in the file that ''as regards the point raised about grant of new licences on first-cum-first-served basis, the announced guidelines have made it open for new lincences to be issued on continuous basis at any time''.

''However, the Spectrum is to be allotted subject to availability.

This in effect would imply that an applicant, who comes first will be granted the Spectrum. So, it will result in grant of licence on first-cum-first-served basis'', Mr Karunanidhi quoted Mr Shourie having written in the file.

Mr Dayanidhi Maran, who had succeeded Mr Shourie, had followed the same practice, without making any change in the guidelines and Mr Raja had only followed his footsteps, the Chief Minister said.

There was no restriction that the company, which had secured the spectrum allottment, should not attract foreign investment for its growth, Mr Karunaidhi added.

UNI

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