2G scam: Pawar denies links with Shahid Balwa

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New Delhi, Feb 11 (ANI): Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Friday rubbished media reports, which linked him to Dynamix Balwas (DB) group Managing Director Shahid Usman Balwa, who has been arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the 2G spectrum scam.

Denying his link with Balwa, Pawar said: "As per media reports I have read, he is 32 years old and I am 70. How can he be my friend and you should understand this."

"The dairy is owned by Schreiber Foods Inc. of the US and another company and nobody else has a share in it," he added rubbishing reports that Balwa had stakes in the Dynamix Dairy Industries Limited at Baramati, considered his pocket area and now the Parliamentary constituency of his daughter Supriya Sule.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader further said the farmers of Baramati had been supplying milk to the dairy for the last 30 years, when Balwa was hardly two years old.

Balwa, who was arrested on Tuesday night from his Bandra residence in Mumbai, is the fourth high profile person arrested in connection with the scam.

Balwa-promoted DB Reality floated Swan Telecom. Raja allegedly helped Swan bag 2G licences for 13 circles, including Mumbai and Delhi, for Rs 1,537 crores but Swan sold 45 per cent shares to the UAE telecom giant Etisalat for approximately Rs 4,500 crore within months of bagging the spectrum.

As per reports, the CBI has proof of Balwa's involvement in receiving and channeling money for A Raja.

Also, the Enforcement Directorate had trailed Rs 214 crore allegedly routed by Balwa and DB Realty to Chennai-based Kalaignar television, a channel promoted by family members of DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.

The others arrested in connection with the case are former Telecom Minister A Raja, his personal secretary RK Chandolia and former telecom secretary Siddharth Behuria.

Raja was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet last year after the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue. (ANI)

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