AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa's offer of support to the Congress-led UPA at the Centre if it drops Information Technology and Communications Minister A. Raja evokes a positive response from CPI State secretary D. Pandian.
However, the CPI(M) is cautious in its reaction.
“His removal is a long-pending demand. I will also appreciate the Congress if Mr. Raja is removed from the Cabinet. Otherwise we will not spare the Congress for protecting him,” Mr. Pandian told The Hindu. He said he did not find anything wrong in Ms. Jayalalithaa's offer, saying that “you cannot target Congress on every issue.”
“The Congress dropped Sashi Tharoor from the Cabinet. Now it has removed Ashok Chavan as Chief Minister of Maharashtra and dropped Suresh Kalmadi from the post of secretary of the Congress Parliamentary Party in the wake of allegations against them. These are good signs. Let them also drop Mr. Raja,” he said.
Asked how he could defend the stand of Ms. Jayalalithaa, since the Left parties had been making efforts to form a front alternative to both the Congress and the BJP, all Mr. Pandian would say is “these are two different issues.” Though CPI(M) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan also demanded Mr. Raja's resignation, he refused to comment on Ms. Jayalalithaa's stand on the issue. “We don't like to say anything now. Our party will discuss the issue. We want to watch the developments,” he said.
Mr. Ramakrishnan said the continuance of Mr. Raja in the Cabinet was untenable in the wake of CAG report, and pointed out that a total of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore revenue loss had been caused because of under-sale of spectrum allocation.
“The Congress had dropped Maharashtra Chief Minister and removed Suresh Kalmadi from his post. But it is protecting Mr. Raja. Why is it adopting two different yardsticks,” he asked.