Union IT minister Raja alleges smear campaign by Dayanidhi Maran

October 10th, 2008 - 10:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Oct 10 (IANS) Union Minister for Information Technology and Communications A. Raja has charged Dayanidhi Maran, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s estranged nephew with masterminding a smear campaign against the centre and the state by levelling baseless allegations in a telecom spectrum deal.”Dayanidhi Maran is doing this through newspapers and television channels jointly owned by him to besmirch the name of the chief minister and the central government for purely personal reasons. My decisions have made the telecom industry more competitive and Maran is jealous of this achievement,” Raja said during an interaction with reporters here Friday.

A section of the media here had charged that Raja’s “questionable deals” had resulted in losses worth over Rs.25 billion to the national exchequer through “an improper telecom spectrum deal” that fetched only under Rs.1.75 billion.

“Dayanidhi Maran issued 2G spectrum licences to 12 companies and I am following the same policy that has been in existence since 1999. Yet, I am being blamed,” Raja claimed.

Maran was union minister for information technology and communications till May 2007 and reduced the mobile and landline call rates drastically during his tenure. He brought in investments well in excess of $30bn for the IT sector alone and set the ball rolling for making India a chip manufacturing hub.

Raja revealed that Rothschild & Sons had been appointed to conduct global auctions for further spectrum licences but was not sure of the profitability due to the worldwide financial crisis.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is scheduled to rollout the much-awaited 3G services in December. Karunanidhi would do the same for Tamil Nadu on January 14 - or Pongal, the harvest festival here, Raja added.

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