DMK silent on Raja’s arguments

July 25th, 2011 - 11:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Chennai, July 25 (IANS) The DMK Monday maintained a stoic silence over the statement to court by party leader and former communications minister A. Raja that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former finance minister P. Chidambaram were in the know of the happenings in the 2G spectrum field.

“I am not in a position to comment without knowing the full facts,” DMK spokesperson T.K.S. Elangovan told IANS.

Another senior leader of the party, who declined to be named, echoed what Elangovan said.

He said: “It is only party president M. Karunanidhi who could react on the subject. However, as he was not able to get the details from Raja’s lawyer, he was not able to react. Once we get the details, the party would react.”

He added that Raja’s lawyer argued based on the correspondence exchanged between Raja and the prime minister on the allocation of spectrum.

A watcher of the political scene said that the DMK is not in a hurry to comment on the court scene as it is the Congress party which in a spot.

Raja’s counsel Sushil Kumar Monday told the court in New Delhi that 2G spectrum transactions were approved by then finance minister Chidambaram in the presence of the prime minister.

“Telenor buying a stake in Unitech Wireless and Etisalat buying a stake in DB Realty — the finance minister approved it in the presence of the prime minister,” Kumar told the court.

“Let the PM deny it,” counsel told the judge, referring to the particular time in 2007-08 when Chidambaram was finance minister. “If policies pursued by me were wrong, then all former telecom ministers since 1993 should also be in jail with me,” he added.

“As telecom minster Arun Shourie distributed 26 licences, Dayanidhi Maran distributed 25, and I distributed 122. Numbers make no difference. It is to be noted that none of them auctioned the spectrum. If they had done no wrong, why am I being questioned?”

“To give the licence without auction was my obligation. I acted as per the union cabinet’s decision and the finance minister was known to it. If I would have not done that, I should have been prosecuted but I only did my duties,” Raja’s counsel said, pointing that “no auction was done” in allotting 2G licences.

“The decision to award licence was essentially a policy decision and not my decision,” Raja’s counsel said.

The arguments have pleased the DMK cadres as they were on the defensive ever since the 2G spectrum case blew up.

The DMK cadres have been clamouring for breaking off with the Congress and blame it for the party’s defeat in the April assembly elections.

Even at the DMK’s recently concluded executive and general council meeting, members had demanded severing the alliance with the Congress.

At the general council, the party had passed a resolution flaying the CBI for opposing bail for Karunanidhi’s daughter and DMK MP Kanimozhi, who is lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail as a co-conspirator in the 2G spectrum scam.

Another resolution hoped that both Raja and Dayanidhi Maran, who also resigned, would emerge clean on the charges against them in the 2G spectrum case.

Queried whether the party is not actively lending its support to Raja, a senior DMK leader told IANS: “The party will not let down anybody. A person is innocent till proven guilty.”

The DMK had in the past said that Raja followed a policy that his predecessors in the ministry had laid down.

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