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A. Raja resigns
Published on 15 Nov. 2010 12:20 AM IST
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Yielding to relentless opposition pressure, Telecom Minister A Raja resigned tonight in the wake of the 2G Spectrum allocation scam.
“In order to avoid embarrassment to the Government and maintain peace and harmony in Parliament, my leader (DMK chief M Karunanidhi) has advised me to resign,” Raja told PTI.
Raja, 57, met Karunanidhi in Chennai twice in the last 24 hours, before flying back to Delhi and went straight to the Prime Minister’s 7, Race Course Road residence to hand over his resignation letter.
DMK spokesman and MP T.K.S. Elangovan told a news channel that the party leadership had advised Raja to step down so that parliament could function peacefully. He asserted that the relationship between the Congress and DMK was “strong”. Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan also confirmed that Raja had resigned.
BJP has called the resignation a “victory of democracy”.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury welcomed the resignation, and called it a vindication of the Opposition campaign against corruption.
Sharpening its attack on Congress on the corruption issue, BJP today alleged that “other” Cabinet ministers are also involved in the 2G spectrum scam along from A Raja and asserted that they “will also have to go” along with the Telecom Minister.
“This money was not only looted by Raja. Congress leaders were also involved... Money has not only gone to Chennai. It has benefited Congress also,” BJP president Nitin Gadkari said while addressing a public rally in Najafgarh.
Questioning the role of other Cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister in the 2G spectrum issue, Gadkari said, “Has Raja alone siphoned off the money? Hasn’t the Prime Minister signed the files? If he (Raja) was wrong, then why was he not stopped? It is not just Raja who will have to go, other ministers who are involved in it will also have to go.”
Earlier, Telecom minister A Raja ruled out his resignation over the 2G spectrum allocation issue, saying “there is no need for it.”
“There is no question of me resigning and there is no need for it,” he told reporters before leaving for Delhi this evening.
Raja today met Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi for the second time in the last 24 hours and is understood to have discussed the 2G spectrum allocation issue.
He met Karunanidhi at his residence here and the two are understood to have discussed during the 30-minute meeting the implications of the CAG report on the alleged scam, over which the opposition is seeking the minister’s removal.
Asked why he had met the DMK supremo twice in a short time, Raja said, “It is a very usual thing. I meet him twice every day (whenever I am in Chennai).” Asked whether he was going to resign from the government, Raja said this has not been discussed during his meeting with Karunanidhi.
“It has not been discussed. That question does not arise,” he said.
On being asked whether the Prime Minister will make a statement on the issue, he said, “I don’t know whether PM will give a statement.” Pressed further whether he was going to put in his papers tonight, he said, “There is nothing like that. CM has not told me anything (about resigning).”
Soon after his arrival from Delhi last night, Raja had met the DMK chief.
The minister left for Delhi in the evening by an Indian Airlines flight.
Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, textile minister Dayanidhi Maran, DMK Leader and former Union shipping minister T R Baalu are also heading for Delhi in separate flights.

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