Is Dayanidhi Maran the next casualty in the spectrum scam?

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Dayanidhi Maran
New Delhi, May 31: After corporate honchos and ministers are in knots over their involvement in the all-consuming 2G spectrum scam that seems to spare none, the latest victim who happen to be caught in the cross fire is none other than Union textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran.

Maran is seeing red after an article appeared in Tehelka magazine claiming that he favoured telecom licenses to certain telecom companies and denied licenses to certain others. The report also states that the forced delay led to telecom company Aircel striking a deal with Maxis that has invested heavily in Sun TV, that is owned by the Maran family.

The Opposition has however taken up the matter with BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad commenting; “Now we are asking very specific questions from Mr Dayanidhi Maran. Is it a fact that Maxis Communications has invested substantial amount in the family-owned company of Dayanidhi Maran - the Sun TV of Sun Direct? Secondly, was this investment done before Maxis Communication purchased Aircel or thereafter? And if it is true, is it not a case of direct conflict of interest?"

He added, “Because we need to know that the entire power to determine the price of spectrum was taken out of the purview of GoM upon the insistence of Dayanidhi Maran when he was the Telecom Minister. And we would like Mr Dayanidhi Maran to reply to these very specific questions which we are raising today, a reply to which is important in national interest."

The Congress has washed its hands off the issue and wants to take no responsibility of any of the ministers or representatives of the DMK, that is seeing some strain in relationship following recent developments.

The Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said on the issue, “If Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran has been asked a few questions, he's in the best position to answer them. But I must mention here that the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) is doing its job. It will examine all issues including the telecom policy through the years."

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