Tuesday, May 4, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Dalit card to Raja’s aid


Dalit card to Raja's aid

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, May 03, 2010
First Published: 22:57 IST(3/5/2010)
Last Updated: 01:32 IST(4/5/2010)

After meetings with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi came out in
full support of his party nominee, Telecom Minister A. Raja, who is
caught in a row over irregularities over the allotment of 2G spectrum.

The DMK chief invoked the Dalit card to dismiss allegations against
Raja that he caused a huge loss to the exchequer. "Raja is a Dalit.
That is why dominant forces are levelling malicious charges against
him," he said.

The Congress too seemed reluctant to antagonise its ally. Downplaying
the Opposition's demand for Raja's resignation, the Congress said
there was no "credible evidence" to support the charges.

"These are in nature of allegations. There is nothing in the realm of
proof or credible evidence," party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said.

Singhvi also dismissed charges that the government was shielding Raja
saying there is "no question of defending somebody, who is not an
accused". A Congress leader said, "Why should we ask for his
resignation? It is for the DMK to take a call."

Congress managers said their party had taken such calls on many
occasions in the past, especially after Sonia Gandhi became the
Congress president in 1998. "We asked Tharoor to resign after his name
figured in the IPL controversy," another leader said.

Karunanidhi is also said to have dropped broad hints about his plan to
make his son, M.K. Stalin the Chief Minister before the assembly polls
next year.

But the DMK and the Congress were tightlipped about the meeting.
Karunanidhi met Gandhi for 10 minutes before they were joined by Union
Minister Dayanidhi Maran and DMK MPs T.R. Baalu and Kanimozhi, his
daughter, for the next twenty minutes. His son, Union Minister M.K.
Alagiri, was absent.

Asked what was discussed, Karunanidhi said, "I told Sonia Gandhi that
steps should be taken to pass the Women's Reservation Bill in Lok
Sabha as soon as possible." Asked whether he discussed any political
issues with Gandhi, the DMK chief said, "There is more time for the
Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu…"


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