Union Minister for Textiles Dayanidhi Maran on Monday denied that he had tried to ‘force, arm-twist, strangulate a person to sell his business to another person.'

“Sivasankaran is not a millionaire. He is a multi-multi billionaire. No one can force him to sell his business,” Mr. Maran told journalists outside his Boat Club Road residence here. He went on to cite newspaper reports indicating that Aircel had been parading itself for sale even before he became a Minister. Copies of the reports, which were distributed to the media, mention the bids for Aircel from Hutchinson and a Russian firm Sistema.

“The paper clippings I have given to you clearly prove that this particular company was parading itself [for sale] much before I even became a Minister,” he said.

Mr. Maran added: “Let me tell you — if someone feels forced they could have gone to the courts and got a remedy for it. Nothing of that sort happened.” He did not take any questions, and ended his statement thus: “I also have more facts with which, if needed, I will address the appropriate authorities and prove my innocence.”

More In: National | News