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Cong turns down Jaya's offer

AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa made a dramatic, televised offer to the Congress on Thursday. “Axe Raja and I guarantee the support of 18 MPs if the DMK withdraws support,” she said, claiming she’d “show the way for Congress” without any condition. Shekhar Iyer reports. 'Raja's done no wrong' | 2G scam in a nutshell

delhi Updated: Nov 12, 2010 03:44 IST
Shekhar Iyer

AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa made a dramatic, televised offer to the Congress on Thursday. “Axe Raja and I guarantee the support of 18 MPs if the DMK withdraws support,” she said, claiming she’d “show the way for Congress” without any condition to stave off threat to the government in the event of a numbers crunch in Lok Sabha.

But the Congress dismissed the offer, saying the DMK remained its ally. The DMK followed suit, saying its alliance with the Congress remained firmly in place. Polls are due in Tamil Nadu early next year.

Jayalalithaa told Times Now she could ensure the support of 18 MPs, the strength of the DMK in Lok Sabha, in the event of Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi’s party pulling out of the government. “There are other like-minded leaders. I have spoken to them. My party has nine MPs in Lok Sabha. The friendly parties have enough numbers. What is holding back the Congress now?”

“I am not in the habit of making idle claims,” she added. “What I am saying is that I have the numbers to replace the 18 DMK MPs. Act against Raja and don’t worry about your government.”

Backing Jayalalithaa’s claim, Karnataka ex-CM HD Kumaraswamy confirmed his party MPs were part of her offer to back the UPA. AIADMK sources said she had also spoken to Ajit Singh’s RLD with four MPs.

Minister and AICC in-charge of Tamil Nadu Ghulam Nabi Azad said “there is no vacancy in Tamil Nadu” as the party already has an alliance with DMK.

“Why should he (Raja) resign?” asked DMK spokesperson and MP TK S Elangovan. “Whatever the minister did was based on the norms set by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.”

Minister Pranab Mukherjee is said to have sought details on the additional 2G spectrum beyond 6.2 Mhz was given to existing players by Raja’s predecessors — late Pramod Mahajan and Arun Shourie, and DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran free of cost.

Kanimozhi breaks silence

“Just shows how desperate Jayalalitha has become,” Kanimozhi, Rajya Sabha MP and daughter of Karunanidhi, told Hindustan Times respon-ding to Jayalalitha’s suggestion to the Congress to dump the DMK.

Breaking her silence for the first time on the 2G spectrum scam, she said: “You cannot remove a minister just on the basis of a CAG report, when the issue is before the Supreme Court. Has anyone been removed on the basis of CAG reports?” (HTC, New Delhi)