A sense of helplessness and anger appeared to grip the DMK as the CAG report was finally tabled in Parliament and the impact of A Raja’s ignominious exit and his replacement with Kapil Sibal sunk in.
Senior DMK leaders sense greater trouble for their party and Raja. They were also debating a new dimension added by the Supreme Court asking some questions about the “delay” on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s part in connection with the 2G Spectrum allocation issue.
But the talk of CBI and Enforcement Directorate probes against Raja and his close aides puzzled them.
Raja, however, was in a mood of bravado. He is said to have confided (to his close friends) that he was ready to face “whatever probe” to clear his name.
“Why should I wait for them (probe agencies)? I will go to them myself in the next few days…I want to clear my name at the earliest,” Raja was quoted as saying.
Raja told the media, “My conscience is clear. The government’s stand has been expressed through the affidavit before the Supreme Court. I can’t be separated from the government as long as I was in power. I can have no separate comment.”
“What do you mean by (my) guilt?” he said in response to a question. “If there have been any procedural lapses... let it be investigated...”
He added, “I went as per the telecom policy of 1999, as per recommendations of Telecom and Regulatory Authority of India and vision contemplated by the government…let the law take its own course.”
Not many DMK leaders believe Sibal’s entry into Sanchar Bhavan — headquarters of the telecom ministry— is a ‘stop-gap’ arrangement. But Raja did not read too much into this, DMK sources said.
DMK sources said, “the party is in a wait-and-watch mode. We were taken aback by the PM’s decision to put Sibal in Raja’s place.” They were also unsure about the impact of the controversy on the DMK-Congress alliance. “What’s on the Congress’s mind we do not know,” said a party functionary.
Raja who has not had many friends among DMK ministers so far, saw many offering sympathy. “Raja went as a representative of the DMK. His exit is not just a personal setback for him...”