NEW DELHI, July 7: A well known amateur radio operator, Dayanidhi Maran joins a growing list of top politicians and corporate honchos to be felled by the 2G spectrum scam in which DMK was further dealt a body blow with its two leaders already behind bars.
Maran is the second union minister to resign after his party colleague A Raja quit as Telecom minister in November last in connection with the scam.
Raja is lodged in Tihar jail which also had DMK supremo Karunanidh“s daughter Kanimozhi, a Rajya Sabha MP, among the prison inmates for their alleged involvement.
The resignation of 44-year-old Maran, a savvy politician and grand-nephew of Karunanidhi, as Union Textiles minister marked another episode that has charged both politics in Delhi and Tamil Nadu from the time a string of alleged irregularities in the telecom scam that has caused loss to the state exchequer surfaced. He is a former Telecom minister.
At the heart of the second generation spectrum scam is the issue of 2G licenses being allocated to private telecom players at throwaway prices in 2008.
The CAG said the spectrum scam, in which Rules and procedures were flouted, has cost the government Rs. 1.76 lakh crore. Raja“s successor Kapil Sibal however contends that the “notional” losses quoted are a result of erroneous calculations and insists that the actual losses are nil.
Kanimozhi has been named by the CBI as a co- conspirator with A Raja.
Former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura and Raja“s former personal secretary and close aide R K Chandolia are also among the accused in the 2G scam.
The corporate honchos who have been allegedly involved in the scam are Shahid Usman Balwa, former Director of Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB); Sanjay Chandra, Managing Director of Unitech Ltd and Unitech Wireless; Gautam Doshi, Group MD, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group(ADAG); Hari Nair, Senior Vice-President, ADAG; Surendra Pipara, Senior Vice-President, ADAG and Reliance Telecom Ltd and Vinod Goenka, Director, Swan Telecom.