Raja ready to quit if charges are proved


Chennai : Union IT and Telecom Minister A. Raja Saturday said he would quit if charges levelled against him by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) employees during last Monday’s nationwide strike were proved.

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The minister’s comments came ahead of a board meeting of the state-run BSNL scheduled slated for Monday to rework its much talked about multi-billion 45.5 million GSM line tender.

According to industry sources, staff of the state-run BSNL went on strike for not being able to conclude discussions with Raja and the department of telecommunications (DoT) about the placing of contracts with regard to laying the GSM lines by selected vendors.

Meanwhile, the DMK minister has set his eyes on the Rs.300 billion available in the defence ministry for BSNL in an attempt to deflect criticism from the angry BSNL employees.

“I have not cancelled the BSNL tender and my actions have not adversely affected the undertaking. I have only raised a few queries on the tender itself and requested revision of the bid to enable purchase of additional equipment for our mobile services. The exercise will save a lot of money for the exchequer,” Raja said.

“Spectrum, a defence ministry body, has an unspent corpus of Rs.300 billion meant for augmenting its communication needs. As my ministry certainly knows more about the subject, this fund should be transferred to us which will help us to expand the broadband network and rural telephony,” he added.

Last week, Raja had charged his predecessor Dayanidhi Maran with an attempt to squander BSNL funds to the tune of Rs.100 billion.