Tuesday, May 4, 2010

[ZESTCaste] Raja wears a Dalit crown now


Raja wears a Dalit crown now

4 May 2010, 0637 hrs IST,ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Tamil Nadu chief minister and DMK chief M Karunanidhi on
Monday played the Dalit card to back telecom minister A Raja. His
backing for
the DMK minister came on a day the Opposition stalled Parliament over
the alleged 2G spectrum scam and demanded Mr Raja's ouster. "Raja is a
Dalit. That is why dominant forces are levelling malicious charges
against him," Mr Karunanidhi said after a meeting with Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh on Monday evening.

Earlier in the day, he met Congress chief Sonia Gandhi for over 30
minutes. The impact of Mr Karunanidhi's meetings with Ms Gandhi was
almost immediate as a reluctant Congress came out to solidly back its
southern ally.

Thus if Mr Karunanidhi had more or less ruled out Mr Raja's
resignation on Sunday, Congress also spoke up for Mr Raja on Monday.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said there was "no credible
evidence" to support the charges against Mr Raja. "These are in nature
of allegations... There is nothing in the realm of proof or credible
evidence," Mr Singhvi said. He added in response to questions: "(There
is) no question of defending somebody, who is not an accused". Another
spokesperson, Manish Tewari asked the Opposition to "look within"
before levelling allegation against the government on 2G spectrum
controversy. "It is ironical. Those who are holding Parliament to
ransom (on 2G spectrum issue) are precisely those who in 1999, allowed
the telecom operators to migrate from licence fee to revenue sharing
arrangement," he said, alleging that this change-over had resulted in
a "direct loss of Rs 60,000 crore" to the exchequer. Interestingly,
Opposition parties, led by AIADMK, have been describing the 2G
spectrum scam as costing the government anything between Rs 60,000
crore to Rs 100,000 crore.

While the spectrum issue remained on top of the political agenda of
Opposition parties, there was speculation that an entirely different
matter might have preoccupied the Tamil Nadu CM during his on-on-one
meetings with the Congress leadership. With talk of the possible
advancement of Tamil Nadu assembly polls doing the rounds, the matter
could have been broached in the meetings, sources indicated.


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