Former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran, facing the heat by CBI in the ‘illegal’ telephone exchange case, said he would quit politics if RSS ideologue Gurumurthy could prove his claim on operation of over 300 ISDN PRI telephone lines.
Posing two questions, Maran wanted Gurumurthy, a noted columnist and auditor and the intellectual face of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Tamil Nadu to answer them.
He wanted the RSS ideologue to demonstrate operation of 300 telephone lines through a single “ISDN PRI” connection.
“If he proves that such an operation is possible I will quit politics,” he said in a statement here today.
“Let him also show the meter reading of the phone number used by me. If I had used telephone for over Rs 400 crore as alleged by him, the meter should have recorded it and let him show that,” he said.
“Let Gurumurthy do these two things and fix a date and time. I am ready for a debate with him,” he said.
In a media interview, Gurmurthy had challenged Maran for an open debate on the telephone exchange issue.
Responding to this, Maran said he was ready for it, provided the former answered his questions.
“I am ready for a debate. Let him give explanation for these two questions. I will debate with him at a time and place fixed by him.”
He also alleged that Gurumurthy was levelling false charge that a loss of about Rs 400 crore had occured, whereas CBI itself had said the loss could be Rs 1.2 crore and was looking for evidence to buttress even that charge, he added.
On January 22, Maran had accused CBI of acting under political compulsion to frame him and dared it to detain him if it had evidence.
He had questioned the January 21 arrest of three persons, including his former additional personal secretary and alleged it was an act to “please” Gurumurthy, who had ‘exposed’ the telephone exchange.
The 300-odd telephone line exchange was allegedly set up at Maran’s house and used by the Sun TV network owned by the former minister’s family for data transmission of its channel.
Gurumurthy had however stuck to his stand that the illegal telephone exchange was used for uplinking SUN TV.
The agency had named Maran and BSNL officials, including the then Chief General Manager K Bramhanathan and MP Veluswami in the FIR filed in October 2013.