New Delhi, Jun 15: Home Minister P Chidambaram today dismissed allegations that he was a beneficiary in the 2G scam and termed statements attributed to a former Reliance Industries employee in this regard as “totally false and per se defamatory”.
In a signed statement, he also said that a conversation between the RIL employee K Ramachandran Raja and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia is “reckless and malicious gossip”.
The statement comes in the wake of BJP demanding his resignation citing a news report that claimed that Chidambaram was a beneficiary in the 2G spectrum scam on the basis of a telephonic conversation between former Telecom Minister A Raja and Radia.
Chidambaram said sections of the media have carried a report on a conversation between ‘Raja' and Niira Radia. It has also been reported that a recording of that conversation exists.
“I have made some enquiries. I have learned that the ‘Raja' who figures in the conversation is one Shri K Ramachandran Raja (Shri K R Raja), an employee of M/s Reliance Industries Limited.
“The statements attributed to the said K Ramachandran Raja are totally false and per se defamatory. The conversation between him and Ms Radia is reckless and malicious gossip,” he said.
The Home Minister said a legal notice has been issued on his behalf to the said K Ramachandran Raja demanding an unconditional apology.
“I know that my friend Shri Prakash Javadekar, spokesperson of the BJP, will be disappointed. I offer him my sympathies,” he said.
Earlier in the day BJP alleged that the taped conversation between A Raja and Niira Radia shows that the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram played a role in the 2G spectrum scam and sought an explanation from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“There are fairly extensive references in the conversation between former Minister A Raja and Niira Radia on whatever is alleged as the role played by P Chidambaram. The allegations referred there are related to money being taken and also functioning of Chidambaram regarding minerals and gas matters,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
The CBI could be taking a soft line on Chidambaram in this case, she said and maintained that this was visible when the investigating agency did not comply with the Supreme Court orders to provide more details on his reported involvement.
“An analysis of this money making by Chidambaram has been entered by the CBI as an analysis elsewhere. We are not able to understand how the CBI has not produced the details to the Supreme Court,” Sitharaman said.
She noted that the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the CBI investigations into 2G scam, has asked the Income Tax department to produce the transcript related to the conversation between Raja and Radia.
The opposition party claimed that the conversation makes it clear that Chidambaram was involved in the making of the policy for 2G spectrum allocation.
She termed this a “very serious issue” and sought an explanation from the government.
“A conspiracy of silence continues on part of the Prime Minister in Chidambaram's case,” she said. The BJP maintained that the conversation makes it clear that Chidambaram was involved in policy making on 2G spectrum allocation.
“It is very clear that as regards the fixation of the prices of 2G spectrum allocation, there was clearly a role played by P Chidambaram as the Finance Minister in fixing the price of spectrum in 2007 at 2001 prices,” Sitharaman said.
She charged that Chidambaram was reported to have been advising Raja at this point in time on how to go about the allocation of 2G spectrum.
“An allegation has gone so as far as to say that he (Chidambaram) was jointly responsible for the decision of going in for allocating spectrum in 2007 at 2001 rates,” Sitharaman said.
The spokesperson insisted that these revelations raise several queries which need to be answered.
“It raises the question in our minds. Why can't we make an inference that probably Mr Chidambaram is culpable. It raises a very serious concern, in all our minds, I am sure. This certainly needs a lot of explanation,” Sitharaman said. PTI