The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam will back former Telecom Minister A Raja if the issue of his request to appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee as a witness on the 2G case is raised at the UPA Coordination Committee meeting here on Tuesday.
“If the Congress raises the issue..., asks us, we have to stand by Raja,” party spokesman T K Elangovan, MP, said when asked whether the issue could be raised by the DMK, a key constituent of the UPA, at the Coordination Committee meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Besides, Mr. Elangovan said Mr. Raja’s request to appear before the JPC was a “new development” and “our leader may advise us” about future course of action.
The DMK spokesman said his party would raise the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils and farmers’ suicides in Tamil Nadu at the UPA Coordination Committee meeting.
A DMK member of Lok Sabha, Mr. Raja is a prime accused in the 2G spectrum case who had been in Tihar jail for several months before being granted bail.
He had met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar some days back and handed her a letter expressing his willingness to appear as a witness before the JPC.
Mr. Raja has contended that while he has the “fullest respect” for the court, “the fact remains that I have been condemned unheard.” He has sent a copy of the letter to Congress leader P C Chacko, who heads the JPC.
Mr. Raja’s request to the Speaker comes days after Attorney General G E Vahanvati blamed him for various issues before the JPC.
“The truth of the matter is being suppressed on the basis of preconceived notions, deliberate bias, faulty investigation and erroneous conclusions.
”...perhaps the most telling example of this situation is the judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 02.02.2012, where specific and prejudicial observations were made against me without giving me a hearing,” Mr. Raja wrote in the letter.
Mr. Chacko is likely to get back to Mr. Raja with a final decision soon on the issue after consulting other committee members, JPC sources said.
Reports had it that Mr. Raja’s desire to testify before the JPC could be extremely damaging for the ruling UPA, as it fuels a controversy which the government is now trying to give a quiet burial after over two years of turbulent parliamentary, judicial and media scrutiny since November 2010.
Mr. Chacko is likely to get back to Mr. Raja with a final decision soon on the issue after consulting other committee members, the sources said.
Mr. Raja’s request has come when the three-month-long budget session has just commenced.
Congress has steered clear of the issue while an AIADMK has leader said it was a fight between DMK and Congress and his party would not get into it.
With Parliament reconvening on Tuesday and the JPC scheduled to meet soon after, Mr. Raja’s demand could become a major rallying point for the BJP and Left parties.