Causing a major embarrassment to the CPI(M), its national secretary Prakash Karat's name too figures in the biggest scam India has ever seen. Now its clear that the left leaders are not left out in the 2G Spectrum Scam which is rocking India. Major political leaders, media persons including Barkha Dutt are all involved in the scam that took place in a country where majority of the planet's poor inhabit.
NEW DELHI, 6 MAY: Left leaders were apparently not untouchable for the “tainted” corporate lobbyist and “power-broker” Ms Nira Radia who, along with her associates, has been under the scanner for her proximity to the Union communications minister Mr A Raja over their alleged role in the Rs 60,000 crore 2G Spectrum scandal. If the observations made by intelligence agencies on the basis of her protracted telephone surveillance are to be believed, Ms Radia was as “good” and friendly with Mr Raja as she was with “certain Left Front and Citu (CPM's trade union affiliate) leaders” in “managing” various business affairs in Left-ruled Bengal. In a secret report on Ms Radia's network and operations, Intelligence agencies have stated that she was pushing business deals for corporate houses interested in setting up their business in West Bengal. The report held that she was “facilitating” a deal for a big corporate house, Mukesh Ambani-headed Reliance group, which purportedly sought to take over a modern naphtha-based petrochemical complex at Haldia near Kolkata. Significantly, it is the same report in which Intelligence agencies revealed her close links with Mr Raja, on whose basis Left leaders, along with other Opposition leaders stalled both Houses of Parliament repeatedly in recent days including today while condemning Mr Raja and demanding a thorough investigations into the 2G allocation scam of 2007-08. The "top secret" report was prepared by the Director General Investigations (Income Tax) after keeping nine phone lines of Ms Radia and her associates under surveillance in two phases ~ for 120 days from August 20, 2008 and for 180 days that ended on 10 July 2009. This "authorised" surveillance, distinct from "tapping," was carried out after taking prior approval of the Union home secretary. The DGI (I-T) report mentioned the CPI-M general secretary Mr Prakash Karat and the West Bengal industry minister Mr Nirupam Sen while referring to Ms Radia's lobbying for assisting Reliance in apparently making its bid for Haldia Petrochemicals. "FICCI chief Tarun Das is chairmanof Haldia Petrochem (govt nominee). As per a conversation apparently Mr Mukesh Ambani wants to take over Haldia Petrochemicals and Mr Das through Ms Radia is facilitating the same. Tarun Das got them to reopen the issue with CPM. Nirupam Sen of CPM set up a meeting with Prakash Karat. They fear that one Purnendu (Mr Purunendu Chatterjee is apparently a major stake holder in Haldia Petrochemicals) may create a problem and will have to be handled by Mr Mukesh," the report stated. Though the report did not elaborate the role of Mr Karat and Mr Sen, it did say clearly Ms Radia was "managing" important CPM leaders. “Neera (sic) apparently has an independent very good relationship with certain Left Front and CITU leaders." "Telephone conversation with regards to the Tata group suggests that the entire media and political 'environment' management for the failed Singur project and the subsequent shifting to Gujarat was handled by Neera Radia and her associates,” the report added. The high-profile Ms Radia, who is believed to be close to a slew of politicians, bureaucrats, and top corporate houses including Reliance and Tatas, runs various PR and consulting firms ~ including Vaishnavi Corporate Consultants, Noesis Consulting, Vitcom and Neucom Consulting. Her lobbying business, with the assistance of senior former bureaucrats, ranges from sectors as diverse as telecom and aviation to power and infrastructure. The report revealed that she was more than managing the "media". The intercepted conversations, according to the report, indicated that she was trying to "ensure that policy changes and decisions of the various government departments" would "suit the commercial requirements of her clients". The report said she apparently even tried to "interfere in the appointment of ministers so as to dovetail the same to the commercial interests of her clients". This four-page report, along with other documents, have been submitted by the DGI (I-T) to the CBI which is probing the 2G scam. The CBI, however, failed to question Ms Radia allegedly under pressure from higher authorities, and then, a couple of months ago, she fled the country. Ms Radia was alleged to be in close touch with Mr Raja in "influencing" the 2G spectrum telephony allocation to her various private player "clients".