Cong puts ball in DMK court on Raja`s fate

Amid growing attack on Telecom Minister A Raja over the alleged scam in spectrum allocation, Congress on Wednesday put the ball in DMK`s court to decide on his fate.

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2010, 21:26 PM IST

New Delhi: Amid growing attack on Telecom Minister A Raja over the alleged scam in spectrum allocation, Congress on Wednesday put the ball in DMK`s court to decide on his
fate.

"While we assert that it is the prime minister`s prerogative to decide upon his council of ministers, we will also keep in mind the coalition dharma," party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters.

Her remark came in reply to a volley of questions on
whether the party favored resignation of Raja, whose
continuance in the government was increasingly becoming
untenable following the CAG report and the opposition
campaign.

Congress has generally been maintaining that in a
coalition it was on the ally concerned to decide which of its
leader will remain a minister and which not.

The party has also claimed high moral ground after
resignation of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the
wake of the Adarsh Housing Scam.

Natarajan, however parried questions on whether the
party expects similar moral posturing from its ally DMK after
the controversies surrounding the 2G Spectrum casting a shadow on the role of Raja.

"It has been discussed several times. The matter is
sub-judice. We will wait for the court decision... we will not
be able to comment until the court decides the matter," was
her refrain to the related queries.

When asked why the party is not seeking Raja`s resignation, she said, "We are in a coalition."

A senior party leader on the condition of anonymity
said it was for the DMK to take a call on Raja unless the
court came out with an order which further complicates the
issue for the minister.

Pointed out that the CAG report is understood to have
named Raja for taking arbitrary decision while allotting 2G
spectrum, bundled with licences in January 2008, Natarajan
said she was unable to comment upon a "leaked draft" and she
has "not seen any official CAG report" which has to go through
a process.

A united Opposition is set to embarrass the government
in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow by seeking the removal of Raja.

All Opposition parties have given notices for a motion
on the issue of corruption including the removal of Raja.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to take a
decision on his continuance in the Union Cabinet after his
return from Seoul on Friday, highly placed sources said.

PTI