Karunanidhi stands by Raja, says 'canards' because he is Dalit
Express News Service Posted online: Tuesday , May 04, 2010 at 0827 hrs
New Delhi : Union Telecom Minister A Raja on Monday looked set to
survive the political storm over the alleged 2G spectrum scam with DMK
chief M Karunanidhi playing the Dalit card to strongly back him. After
his meetings with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh, the DMK patriarch said Raja was being victimised
because of his caste.
Significantly, the Congress also came to the embattled minister's
defence, with party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi saying that
there was nothing "in the realm of proof or credible evidence" to
support the allegations against Raja. The Opposition has been
demanding his dismissal over the alleged scam in allocation of the 2G
Shortly after meeting Karunanidhi, Sonia called on the Prime Minister
and apprised him of her discussions with the DMK chief.
Sources in the Congress have been maintaining that it was for the DMK
to take a call on Raja or even on Chemicals and Fertiliser Minister M
K Alagiri, who is said to be eager to quit the Cabinet and take a more
active role in state politics ahead of the Assembly polls next year.
After his meeting with the Prime Minister, the Tamil Nadu Chief
Minister said "dominant forces are spreading canards against Raja
because he is a Dalit". It is no secret that Raja — apart from being
close to the family of Karunanidhi's third wife Rajathi — is seen as a
rising Dalit leader by Karunanidhi himself.
With Assembly elections only a year away, the DMK would only be happy
to appeal to Dalit sentiments by openly claiming that the Opposition
was targeting Raja because of his caste identity.
On his part, Karunanidhi said he only urged the UPA chairperson to
ensure passage of the Women's Reservation Bill at the earliest. Asked
whether he discussed any political issues with Sonia, the DMK chief
said: "There is time for the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu to
Sources said he also sought her support for revival of the Legislative
Council in Tamil Nadu, for which Parliament has to pass a resolution
now that it has been cleared by the state Assembly. The DMK chief was
accompanied by his daughter Kanimozhi and grand-nephew and Union
Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran during his meeting with Sonia.
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