Lobbyist Nira Radia is A Raja's friend for four years
Thursday, 29th April 2010
Telecom Minister A Raja had offered to help a woman public relations lobbyist, Nira Radia, four years ago get CCEA clearance for starting an airline — a proposal that was shot down by other Ministers. But it was just the beginning. Later, Raja helped her get environmental clearance for some housing projects launched by two corporate giants. The telephone intercepts of Radia, as reported by The Pioneer on Wednesday, show that she was in touch with Raja regarding the 2G spectrum deal too.
Radia first got in touch with Raja through a woman politician in January 2006, when he was the Environment Minister. The woman who introduced Radia to Raja later became a Rajya Sabha member. Radia reportedly wanted Raja’s support for lobbying with the Cabinet members in CCEA for getting approval to start an airlines company, known as Magic Airlines.
According to sources, Raja contacted three members of the CCEA to help out Radia. But they refused to back him. “It was a funny project. A real non-transparent project. There were lots of discrepancies in the mode of foreign investment,” one such Minister told The Pioneer on Wednesday.
According to Environment Ministry sources, Radia became a frequent visitor and struck a big deal by getting environmental clearance for the pan-India project of housing development for the two big companies. This deal onwards, Radia’s clout increased in the Environment Ministry.
Publication : Pioneer