2G scam: Under pressure Maran meets Sibal
New Delhi, June 1 (ANI): Under pressure Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran on Wednesday met Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal and is reported to have discussed the impact of his alleged role in the selective handing out of 2G spectrum licenses to telecom service providers.
Maran met Sibal at the latter's official residence for about 15 minutes, even as demands for his resignation from the Union cabinet grow.
Maran had met Congress president Sonia Gandhi last Thursday over the same issue.
It is now being reported that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has decided to come out in support of Maran on the 2G telecom issue.
Earlier in the day, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa demanded Maran's resignation for his alleged role in selectively distributing 2G spectrum licenses to telecom bidders in 2006.
Speaking to reporters on the issue, Jayalalithaa said: "With regards to Dayanidhi Maran, I am quite sure the Prime Minister knows what should be done and I am sure he will do it. The Prime Minister should ask for Dayanidhi Maran"s resignation from the Cabinet. I am sure the Prime Minister will do it, if he has not already done it."
She added: "Dayanidhi Maran should resign from the Cabinet and face legal proceedings."
Her reaction came even as pressure is mounting on Maran to come clean on his role in the Aircel-Maxis deal.
Opposition parties such as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) said the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam should either declare or deny investments that have been reported in the news magazine Tehelka.
Maran on Tuesday issued a legal notice to Tehelka magazine calling its report that he had deliberately delayed clearing application for licenses of certain telecom companies in 2006, a blatant and concocted lie.
Maran,a grand nephew of former Tamil Nadu chief minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo M.Karunanidhi, accused Tehelka of pursuing a jaundiced form of investigative journalism.
According to the Tehelka report, Maran"""s decision pressurized the telecom firm Aircel to strike a deal with Maxis.
Responding to Maran"""s move to file a suit, Tehelka said in a statement that it was yet to receive the notice from former telecom minister.
In its statement Tehelka said, "We are told that Dayanidhi Maran has sent us a notice but we haven"""t received it yet. Given the nature of stories we do par for the course it is merely an intimidation. This is the kind of crony tacticism that is crippling the nation."
Tehelka described the legal notice as a tactic to intimidate them.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also criticised Maran over the Aircel- Maxis deal and demanded that he should come clean on the issue immediately.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said the Tehelka report raises suspicion about the culpability of some people in the government and the cabinet.
He said, "New information is coming to light as a result of which new people"""s culpability, those in the cabinet are being raised. The law should take its own course and there should be no impediment. Going by the standards of what pm said, he should act Suspicion being raised about the culpability of some people in cabinet."
The Congress washed its hands off the controversy surrounding Maran.
"If a question has been asked from the Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran, obviously he will be the best person to answer it," party spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters in reply to a volley of questions on the issue.
Maran had a lengthy meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last night after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs. (ANI)
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