Raja rules out resignation
New Delhi, November 12
"The question does not arise at all. We will prove that everything has been done according to the law," the embattled minister told reporters, a day after the Opposition stalled proceedings in Parliament for the second consecutive day demanding his resignation.
Raja's comments assume significance in the wake of indications that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will take a decision on his continuance in the Union of Council of Ministers after his return from Seoul tonight.
“Where does that question arise from? It doesn't arise at all,” he said when pressed whether he would step down in the wake of the mounting attack from the Opposition, including the BJP and AIADMK.
The DMK Minister maintained that he would not comment on the spectrum allocation issue as it was “sub judice” and said the affidavit submitted by the Telecom Department before the Supreme Court yesterday “says it all”.
“The entire matter is sub judice. It may not be fair on my part to comment on this.... Whatever I have done is according to the law,” he said. — PTI
CAG report not indictment: Law Minister
New Delhi, November 12
Moily said the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on 2G spectrum allocation could not be called an indictment of the telecom minister as the final report was yet to come. In Chennai, Karunanidhi declared, “We are not guilty. Raja had followed the same method followed by his predecessors Pramod Mahajan and Arun Shourie. What’s wrong with that.”
Both these statements are a clear indication that the UPA government is not going to wilt under pressure by the Opposition, which is seeking Raja’s ouster or the constitution of a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe the alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation. The Opposition has declared it will not allow Parliament to function if its demands are not conceded.
UPA sources said even if Karunanidhi agreed to move him out, Raja may not go immediately but could be removed as part of a larger Cabinet reshuffle, which is expected to take place in January after the Makar Sankranti festival. “We can’t be seen to be acting under Opposition pressure. Today, they are asking for Raja’s head, tomorrow it will be somebody else... this could prove to be endless,” remarked a senior UPA minister.
Similarly, the government is no mood to accede to the opposition’s demand for a JPC. Home minister P. Chidambaram had explained yesterday that a CAG report was first scrutinised by the high-powered Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is headed by a opposition member, and then discussed in Parliament. He saw no reasons for deviating from this procedure. The PAC, explained another Cabinet minister, is actually far more empowered than a JPC would be.
Besides coalition compulsions which are coming in its way, Congress leaders conceded that the Centre would have to await the judicial verdict before it can take any action against Raja.