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'Vadra Has 20% Stake In Unitech'

Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy has now charged that Union home minister P Chidambaram and son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Robert Vadra, too are involved in the multi-crore 2G Spectrum scam.

Speaking to reporters in Chennai, Mr Swamy also claimed that Tamil Nadu chief minister’s wife and daughter, who were recently examined by the CBI, may also be made accused in the case, the DNA newspaper reports.

The Times of India also has a newswire story today which quotes Mr Swamy as saying:

 "I will seek the PM's sanction to prosecute Chidambaram. I will also seek the sanction of the PM for the prosecution of Sonia Gandhi, heading the National Advisory Council, for corruption"

While the story does not cite any reasons why he seeks to prosecute Ms Gandhi, the agency story has a cryptic remark on Mr Chidambaram:

He said a cabinet committee had directed former communications minister A Raja and the then finance minister, Chidambaram, to arrive at the price at which the 2G radio waves were to be sold. Swamy alleged that after becoming the home minister, Chidambaram did not pass the information to Raja.

DNA newspaper has more details and a by-lined story by Kumar Chellappan quoted Mr Swamy as saying:

“Vadra has 20% stake in Unitech, one of the telecom operators which benefited through the allocation of second generation mobile telephony spectrum by former union minister A Raja. He is the beneficiary of illegal payments generated through the spectrum scam and Commonwealth Games contracts,” Swamy said.

“The prime minister had asked Chidambaram, then the finance minister, to sit with Raja and decide the price at which the second generation mobile telephony spectrum could be sold. The duo decided to sell spectrum at 2001 prices, causing huge loss to the government. Moreover, Chidambaram did not inform the prime minister about the decision till 2008,” Swamy said.

He said Chidambaram was informed by the then home minister Sivaraj Patil that Etisalat and Telenor, two foreign telecom players, should not be allowed to operate in India. “Etisalat had links with the Pakistani spy agency ISI and Dawood Ibrahim while Telenor had Chinese links. Chidambaram did not tell Raja about this information. Later also when he took over as the home minister, he kept the information to himself,” Swamy said.

The Janata Party president said he would approach the prime minister seeking permission to include Chidambaram as an accused in the second generation mobile telephony spectrum case after the Tamil Nadu assembly election. “It will be better for Chidambaram to resign by that time,” he said.’

Unlike the TOI story, however, the DNA story is silent on his alleged remarks on Ms Gandhi. Mr Swamy had last week claimed on Twitter that he "may file for sanction to prosecute" Mrs Sonia Gandhi "this mid-April".

Last week, there had been reports of Mr Vadra's association with leading real estate firm DLF, on which The Financial Express had editorialised:

....we welcome Vadra’s statement when he says, he has served a legal notice on realty firm BPTP Ltd for claiming that several of its projects were part-owned by Vadra. For the government and the Congress party, however, the problem is more serious. Given how many clearances a real estate firm needs from government, for land-usage to be changed, for FSI levels and a lot more, there will always be fingers pointed if the UPA chief’s son-in-law has business dealings with a firm getting these permissions. The onus is now on the government and the Congress party to show that the clearances it is giving are not under any form of influence.

There has been a buzz that the BJP was hesitant to make it into an issue because the son-in-law of former PM Atal Behari Vajpayee, Mr Ranjan Bhattacharya, has also been under the scanner, as his name cropped up during Radia tapes and then again in the Wikileaks cables:

[Satish] Sharma mentioned that he was also exploring the possibility of trying to get former Prime Minister Vajpayee's son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya to speak to BJP representatives to try to divide the BJP ranks.

In this regard, on Twitter, Mr Swamy was asked:

@Swamy39 Atal Bihari Vajpayee 's son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharya seem 2 B well connected w/ congress.What makes him so close 2 congress?

To which he replied:

@seshadri :Because he is a crook.He rose from being waiter-Oberoi- to 5 star Hotel chain owner in six years of his father in law as PM.

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