New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Praful
Patel, who was at the receiving end in the tapped
conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, on Wednesday
wondered how she came to prominence and what was her claim to
Refusing to join issue with her, he said such people
run "smear campaigns" and "vitiated" the atmosphere.
"How did she come to know so many people in Delhi. What was her claim to fame... all that is something people
should ponder about," Patel said.
"Such people do not deserve any of my time and
attention, except to say that it is such type of people who
vitiate the atmosphere and run smear campaigns to suit their
interests," he said, but ruled out plans to take any legal
action against Radia for her statements against him.
In the controversial tapes, Radia tells Rajya Sabha
member and former bureaucrat N K Singh that Patel has
"destroyed the(aviation) sector. I am sorry I do have a view
about it. I do not think he has done justice with the sector."
To this, Singh replies, "He has worked as a minister
for Naresh Goyal (Jet Airways Chairman)."
Radia then says "yes, yes and now Vijay Mallya
(Kingfisher Airlines) at the cost of the national carrier."
Patel said, "As we have brought in fundamental changes
in the aviation sector and have made the system grow, we have
got both bouquets and brickbats. Nobody would have criticised
us if we had not done anything."
He dubbed Radia as an "economic terrorist" accusing
her of having "vested interests" and a "personal agenda."
"You want me to comment on lobbies and their agents
and what they have said. They have vested interests and a
personal agenda," Patel said.