2G Scam: Congress sends back channel message to DMK to remove Raja before court ruling

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NEW DELHI/CHENNAI - The Congress is reported to have sent a back channel missive to the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leadership in Tamil Nadu that it should remove Communication and Information Technology Minister A. Raja from the Union Cabinet before the Supreme Court rules on the 2G spectrum scam.

According to Congress sources, Raja is being seen as a liability and that all options are on the table and a final decision would be taken in consultation with the DMK once Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returns from the G-20 Summit in Seoul, South Korea.

The DMK, according to sources, feels that the Congress has started hitting below the belt by deliberately and secretively releasing the CAG report to the media because it is not in a position to impose its will on the DMK due to coalition compulsions.

Raja happens to be the Dalit face of the party and the DMK is aware of the political repercussions of removing him, especially when Assembly polls in the state are round the corner.

Meanwhile, the Opposition continues to mount pressure on the Central Government to sack Raja over the 1.76 lakh crore 2G scam. It has said that it will not allow the winter session of Parliament to function till the government agrees to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into this scam and other corruption-related issues.

The Congress back channel representatives are reported to have simultaneously approached All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief J. Jayalalithaa for a possible political tie-up.

Jayalalithaa has said that if the Congress sacks Raja, she is ready to offer her support to the UPA coalition.

She is going hammer and tongs at the DMK demanding Raja’s sacking, requesting citizens to send telegrams to the President demanding his immediate expulsion from the cabinet.

Raja, according to the AIADMK chief, has committed the mother of all scams, and therefore, he needs to be dismissed.

The 2G (second generation) spectrum allocations caused a loss of Rs1.76 lakh crore to the government, the comptroller and auditor general of India (CAG) has stated in a damning report.

The report further states that Raja had no apparent logical or valid reasons to ignore the advice of the Law and Finance Ministries while allocating telecom spectrum to several firms in 2007-08.

The report is likely to be tabled in Parliament within ten days. (ANI)

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