With the Congress axing Ashok Chavan and Suresh Kalmadi to take the high moral ground on corruption, telecom minister A Raja's role in the 2G spectrum scam has come back into focus. Will he be forced to bow out too?
With two summary removals, the Congress has set an example for the DMK leadership to follow by asking Raja to step down. So far, the DMK has refused to act against Raja, leaving the Congress to face the heat in Parliament.
But the situation may get difficult for Raja once the comptroller and auditor general's report is tabled in Parliament, which it is expected to do in the next 10 days.
The report puts the estimate of the government's loss because of the way the 2G spectrum sale was conducted at Rs 90,000-Rs 140,000 crore — much higher than earlier estimates. The government earned only Rs 9,000 crore from that sale.
Indicating the shape of things to come, the Opposition raised a furore over the scams on Tuesday — the first day of the winter session — and sought Raja's exit.
The AIADMK, the main opposition in Tamil Nadu, plans to disrupt Parliament on Wednesday by seeking suspension of question hour to discuss the 2G spectrum scam.
In Lok Sabha, the BJP said the government must act in the 2G spectrum case, as it was the "mother of all scams".
Later, Sushma Swaraj, opposition leader in Lok Sabha, told reporters: "The pressure (on the government on corruption charges) is not over. They thought, give one resignation after Obama leaves and all will get a clean chit. Ashok Chavan's resignation does not give a clean chit to Sheila Dikshit, A Raja and S Jaipal Reddy."
Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters outside Parliament that the party could not comment on allegations of Raja's involvement in the 2G spectrum scam as the matter is sub judice.
But party sources said a fresh signal could be on its way to the DMK to replace Raja.