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2G scam: No action likely against Raja, DMK backs him

Source: PTI
November 11, 2010 15:59 IST
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Notwithstanding a strident Opposition attack on Union Telecom Minister A Raja over 2G spectrum allocation, the government in Thursday dropped enough hints that no action against him was likely soon as his party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, has strongly stood behind him.

In an apparent effort to forestall any action against Raja, DMK leader and party chief M Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi and is understood to have told them that he should not be removed from the Union cabinet.

While the Parliament was paralysed for the second consecutive day over alleged corruption in 2G allocation and charges against Raja, Chidambaram and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal dismissed demands for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the allegations and said any action could take place after the Parliament discusses the Comptroller and Auditor General of India report.

"The CAG has already given its report. The public accounts committee, which is a mini JPC, will go into the issue and report to Parliament. It will again be debated. Why is there a demand for JPC? It is un-understandable," Chidambaram told reporters outside Parliament House.

Echoing similar views, Bansal said, "Corruption is a serious issue. The CAG report is yet to be finalised. Now, the matter would rest with the PAC." Committee.

He told mediapersons that after the PAC presents its report to Parliament, it is the right of Parliament to go for a structured discussion. "That is what Parliament is meant for,"

Bansal said that while Raja has been indicted by one organisation (CAG), that is not the end of the matter. "The matter is before the Supreme Court. We should not make a final decision on anything only after listening to one point and then inflate the issue. We then consider it to be our right to take a decision. We should reach to the bottom of the matter," he added. The minister said anybody found guilty should be punished.

Meanwhile, the DMK strongly stood behind Raja saying there was no reason for his removal from the Union cabinet. "Why should he resign," asked DMK spokesperson and Lok Sabha Member of Parliament TKS Elangovan and added that a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the spectrum scam is on and everyone should wait for it to end.

"Whatever the minister did was based on the norms set by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Let the CBI inquiry into the issue end first," he said.

"No way," asserted a senior DMK leader when asked whether Raja will go in wake of allegations against him.

Taking a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party, Bansal said that by demanding a JPC probe, the party was demonstrating lack of confidence in its leader Murli Manohar Joshi who heads the PAC. "The PAC is headed by a leader of the opposition party. The BJP has no confidence in Joshi, as it is demanding a JPC probe," he said.

Bansal suggested that PAC was as powerful as JPC to handle the issue. "Instead of demanding a JPC, the Opposition should demand that the process of CAG report being looked by PAC is fast-tracked," he said. Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav said Raja should resign on moral grounds.

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