Niira Radia tapes capture Navika Kumar’s role in 2G scam

Newly posted audio tapes detail Navika Kumar's role in the 2G scam

Niira Radia, Navika Kumar and Sushma Swaraj
Niira Radia, Navika Kumar and Sushma Swaraj

Navika’s role in Radia tapes under spotlight after MEA Sushma Swaraj’s snarky tweet

After the tweets from Lalit Modi promising a lot, the Press Conference by his lawyer, Mehmood Abdi was a damp squib. During the day, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj went on the offensive and questioned the credibility of Navika Kumar, via the following tweet (for more on this you may have to follow the entire conversation).


Navika Kumar is a reporter with Times Now and is allegedly a friend of the current Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. Here is a snippet of a conversation between Navika Kumar and Niira Radia… While it is possible that everyone knows everyone in the Delhi political circles, these conversations shed light perhaps on why NDA is unable to unshackle itself from the previous regime to boldly go forward with much-needed reforms.

Newly posted audio tapes also detail Navika Kumar’s role in the 2G scam. We give below the transcript of an audio conversation between Niira Radia and Ranjan Bhattacharya.[1]

16. Radia Tapes: Radia, Ranjan Bhattacharya

Ranjan Bhattacharya: Hotelier and Political lobbyist

Date: Friday 22, May 2009
Time: 16:55:35

Phone Rings
Ranjan Bhattacharya: (Coughs) Hi!
Niira Radia: You’re not well?
Ranjan Bhattacharya: I have a cough.
Niira Radia: Oh, dear me.
Ranjan Bhattacharya: (Coughs)
Niira Radia: Your friend Sunil Mittal…
Ranjan Bhattacharya: Hmmm…
Niira Radia: He’s lobbying against Raja.
Ranjan Bhattacharya: He’s lobbying against Raja?!
Niira Radia: And he’s pushing Maran.
Ranjan Bhattacharya: Sunil just arrived last night.
Niira Radia: Nahin, he’s been working in the background.
Ranjan Bhattacharya: Achha, because he called me yesterday… day before… he actually was in London, he just met my daughter, he asked me are you also there? I said, don’t be silly yaar. Achcha. So he’s lobbying against Raja for Maran?
Niira Radia: He’s making a mistake because woh Cabinet mein Telecom to siraf Raja ke paas jayega. [In this Cabinet, Telecom is only going to go to Raja]
Ranjan Bhattacharya: But tell me – ah, how is the PM reacting? Because till this morning…
Niira Radia: PM has said nothing on this – it’s just Navika Kumar who has gone overboard on the say-so of Virat Bhatia, vis a vis Maran and Sunil Mittal.
Ranjan Bhattacharya: No no, say it again, sorry?
Niira Radia: You see Navika in Times Now is working on the behest of Virat Bhatia.
Ranjan Bhattacharya: Who is Virat Bhatia?
Niira Radia: Viraj Bhatia is an AT&T guy, and also he used to be the point man for Maran in Delhi.

In another conversation between Niira Radia and Sunil Arora, the name of Navika Kumar again pops up.[2] Here is an excerpt:

38. Radia Tapes: Radia, Sunil

Sunil Arora: IAS, Ex-Indian Airlines Chairman

Date: Monday 01, June 2009
Time: 13:36:13

Phone rings
Niira: Hi
Sunil: Hello, that meeting is tomorrow at 12 ‘o clock.
Niira: Tomorrow at 12? In Bombay?
Sunil: Haan, that’s right, that’s right…
Niira: (cutting him off) I couldn’t call you; I got back last night and went straight to sleep.
Sunil: Sorry?
Niira: I said, I got back yesterday and went straight to sleep. (sighs)
Sunil: The moment I spoke, I sent you a message, by that time you had boarded…
Niira: Haan, I know, then I…what happened – we were on the aircraft for about an hour. Then we went down again.
Sunil: Nahi, meri tab usse baat ho chuki (By then I had spoken to him/ her).
Niira: Haan, I know, I know. I told Rohit, I sent him your SMS. I forwarded it. But then, the moment I reached home, I went to sleep.
Sunil: But that’s okay na, that’s fine. Maine abhi subah usse baat kar li thi (So now I talked to him in the morning).
Niira: Toh, usne…usne Jaipur kyon karna tha yahan se?
Sunil: Nahi usne pahle socha hoga ki…baat kar le…maine kah to diya hi hain. (No, he must have first thought…will talk to him…I’ve already said it anyway) So I told him again…maine kahan nahi yaar, pahle baat tumhare…yeh hui thi ke (I said no, we had discussed that…) first meeting he will take in your presence.
Niira: Hmm
Sunil: After that they’ll keep on being in touch with each other. They’ll not involve you. Except if there is some quid pro quo, which will be informed to you (sic). That’s all.
Niira: Hmm
Sunil: Toh, uska bhi, actually uska missed call tha (So, even he…it was he who called…) so I returned the call.
Niira: Hmm
Sunil: Toh, he said that that gentleman is coming from Jaipur at about 11 ‘o clock, and probably Rohit said that – he said that rather main chahta hun ki (I prefer) 10 ‘o clock, and Rohit said ki tu gyara baje hi pahunch payega, so I suggested that he should also take an early flight, so that in the forenoon this all is finished (sic).
Niira: Correct
Sunil: Toh aap kah dena Rohit ko, theek hai na? (So you tell Rohit, alright?)
Niira: Main bol deti hoon, haan (I’ll tell him, yes).
Sunil: Usne mujhe jo time diya woh bara baje ka tha (the time he gave me was 12 ‘o clock). He said woh gyara baje agar pahunchega hi, toh phir airport se aate aate ki bas der ho jaati (He said that if he reaches at eleven, he will be delayed further, coming all the way from the airport) – because then I may have another meeting or something after lunch
Niira: Theek hai.
Sunil: toh woh better hain…main kya kahe ki varna tum Jaipur se…ticket vicket kar denge, he says kya baat karte ho, koi issue nahi usme (So this is better…I said I’ll book you a ticket to Jaipur, he said, why do you say this, it’s not an issue!)
Niira: Great.
Sunil: He said that. He says – nahi nahi, aisa koi issue nahi. (No, really, it’s no worry)
Niira: Theek hai.
Sunil: Income tax wale hain, ticket le sakte hain. Maine bola, accha, theek hain. (They’re income tax people, they can buy tickets. I said, so be it!)
(Both laugh)
Niira: I’m having dinner with NK Singh and Sharad Yadav on Saturday.
Sunil: Okay.
Niira: At NK Singh’s house.
Sunil: Okay.
Sunil: I saw an interview in Express.
Niira: Maine dekha nahin actually. (I didn’t see it actually.)
Sunil: Uh, parso aaya tha shayad. {It was probably (published) the day before yesterday}
Niira: (makes indistinct noises)
Sunil: On the eve of 30th, on the eve of this JD-U National Executive meeting.
Niira: Haan, I mean I think he’s spelt out very clearly that he’s had enough with JD…BJP, na.
Sunil: Woh tadap raha hai
Niira: Kya?
Sunil: Haan…(laughs)…woh toh oath lene ke liye tadap raha hain na. (he’s dying to take the oath, you know)
Niira: Haan, lag raha hain. (Yes, it seems so.)
Sunil: Uske saare jo interviewees…ki sab bakwas chodo, tum oath dilao. (all his interviewees are saying…forget all this nonsense and…)
Niira: Haan, theek bol rahe hain. (yes, they’re right.)
Sunil: Two days back in Indian Express
Niira: Haan, suddenly NK Singh said that maine usko jab phone karke bola ki main Niira ko invite… (Yes, NK Singh suddenly said that when called him and said he’s inviting Niira…)
Sunil: Aap interview padh lena ek baar. (please read the interview once)
Niira: Haan, main padh leti hoon. (Yes, I will read it)
Sunil: You should see it…
Niira: Haan, parso aayi thi? (Yes, was it published the day before yesterday?)
Sunil: Haan, just go back two-three days, that’s all.
Niira: Haan, maine usko, maine kaha…(Yes, I told him…)
Sunil: Bhai, inka tees-ekkattees ko tha na meeting – national executive ka. (Why, their national executive meeting was on the 30th or the 31st…)
Niira: Haan.
Sunil: It is either…30th was yesterday, right?
Niira: Haan, nahi yesterday was 31st.
Sunil: (choruses with Niira) Yesterday was 31st.
Niira: Haan.
Sunil: So it was either 30th or 29th.
Niira: Theek hain main padh leti hoon. (Alright, I will read it)
Sunil: Haan, woh sab padh lena usme. (Yes, read about all this in the interview)
Niira: Toh, usne bola ki maine…Niira ne…Sharad Yadav ko phone karke bola ki ( so he said that I’d like…Niira…he called Sharad Yadav and said) I’d like to invite Niira, I hope you don’t have a problem. He said, he was very happy – nahi nahi nahi, haan, please bulaiyye! (Not at all, please invite her!) (laughs) maine kaha shukar hain bhai. (thank heavens, I said!)
Sunil: …jealousy hoti hai
Niira: Haye haye haye… (My! my! my!) (laughs)
Sunil: aap karte bhi jaanbhoojke… (You intentionally do this…)
Niira: Haan, jaanbhoojke ho jaata hain (yes, it’s intentional) (laughs)…theek hain (alright).
Sunil:…indistinct…theek hain (alright).
Niira: Ok…main batati hoon phir aapko, aaj sham ko main milne ja rahi hoon apne doosre woh…baat karne ke liye, woh dono se baat kar li thi maine… (so, I’ll let you know, I’m meeting my other…this evening…I had spoken to both of them)
Sunil: Okay.
Niira: Haan allocation ki woh maine baat kar li thi…main sirf tumko…uske baad sham ko baat karungi. Main aapke…se baat karne ja rahi… (Yes, I had talked about the allocation…I will only…I will talk after the evening…I was going to…)
Sunil: Haan, nahi nahi, I thought I should just phone you on that…important.
Niira: Nahin, nahin, he has already got that in his mind. I’m meeting him today – maybe today I may not be able to discuss all the issues because there’ll be lot of people today.
Sunil: But tell him to kill MTN.
Niira: Nahi, nahi, woh main usko…nahi, nahi, woh nahi karega. (No, I can’t tell him that…he won’t do it.)
Sunil: Accha, nahi karega? (Oh, he won’t?)
Niira: Kyunki (Because) Anil Ambani wants that.
Sunil: Nahi, nahi, MTN toh ab…ja raha hain na. (No, MTN is now…it’s going away…)
Niira: Sunil Mittal ke paas. (It’s with Sunil Mittal)
Sunil: Haan.
Niira: Nahi, nahi, woh Sunil Mittal ke saath kabhi jhagda nahi lega. (No, he will never want to antagonise Sunil Mittal)
Sunil: (now in a more resigned tone) Accha, nahi karega. (Oh, he won’t…)
Niira: Main usse baat karungi, because…Navika lagi hui hain uspe. (I will talk to him…Navika is working on him)

If you have the inclination and the time, there is a treasure trove (800!) of audiotapes of Niira Radia on Outlook magazine’s website.[3]


[1] #16 Ranjan Bhattacharya: – May 22, 2009 16:55:35May 22, 2009, Outlook

[2] #38 Sunil?: – Jun 01, 2009 13:36:13Jun 01, 2009, Outlook

[3] 800 New Radia TapesDec 10, 2010, Outlook

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