Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, who is in the eye of a storm over leaked taped conversations, was engaged by the Tata group to counter a media campaign against it by an “unholy nexus” between a certain corporate and journalists.
As Tatas did not enjoy any “captive” connection to counter such media campaign, the group chief, who had earlier gone to the Supreme Court seeking a probe into leakage of tapes containing his conversation with Ms Radia and also a ban on further publication of the same, said that Radia-led Vaishnavi was engaged to counter vested interests.
Mr. Tata’s views came amid the uproar over Ms. Radia’s alleged nexus with corporate, politicians and journalists and the ongoing litigation on the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
Countering charges levelled against him and the Tata Group by former telecom entrepreneur and Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Mr. Tata asked why Chandrasekhar himself was trying to influence politicians and solicit support from selected corporate.
“You and many others have focused your attention on Radia as a corporate lobbyist,” Mr. Tata said while questioning Mr. Chandrasekhar’s role in trying to prevent entry of limited mobility and CDMA mobile service.
The noted industrialist reminded Mr. Chandrasekhar of the time when he had parked himself at the Taj Mahal Hotel Delhi, for several months in 2002 to prevent entry of Wireless in Local Loop (WLL) limited mobility and CDMA.
He pointed out to Mr. Chandrasekhar about his interaction with the polity and bureaucracy and with other operators to forge telecom policy of his choice, while at the same soliciting support of industry lobby CII.
“Would you consider this as an endeavour to influence or subvert policy? To influence politicians or solicit support from selected corporates?
“I take it that in your view, this would not constitute lobbying ... Your affiliation to a particular political party is well-known and it appears that political aspirations and their endeavour to embarrass the Prime Minister and the ruling party may well have been the motivation behind your letter and the insinuations which you make,” Mr. Tata said.