DMK backs Raja, says arrest doesn’t make him guilty


Chennai : Maintaining that a person was innocent until proven otherwise, Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK Thursday came out in support of its leader and former union communications minister A. Raja and said his arrest in the 2G spectrum allocation scam did not make him guilty.

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The party’s all-powerful General Council met here at the DMK headquarters under the leadership of party president and Chief Minister M. Karuananidhi and passed a resolution condemning the opposition for blowing the spectrum scam out of proportion.

It said the arrest of a person does not necessarily make him guilty.

Raja, also the DMK propaganda secretary, and two of his aides were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in New Delhi Wednesday for their role in the controversial allocation of airwaves for second generation (2G) telecom services.

Raja was forced to resign Nov 14 last year after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) indicted him in the scam and for causing losses between Rs.58,000 crore ($12.8 billion) and Rs.1.76 lakh crore ($40 billion) to the exchequer.

“DMK is with Raja. Raja is in DMK,” party spokesperson and Lok Sabha MP T.K.S. Elangovan told reporters gathered at the party headquarters.

He said Raja would come out clean and denied reports that he had resigned as the party’s propaganda secretary.

The DMK, a key ally of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the centre, Wednesday maintained a studied silence on the arrest with no leaders willing to comment on the matter.

Soon after Raja’s resignation, Karunanidhi had said action would be taken against the former if he was proven guilty.

The General Council was attended by senior leaders like K. Anbazhagan, M.K. Stalin, Arcot N. Veerasamy, M.K. Alagiri, T.K.S. Elangovan, state and central ministers, and members of parliament and the state assembly.

The meeting was also attended by AIADMK legislator P.K. Sekar Babu, who had recently joined DMK.

Deliberating on the spectrum issue, the General Council’s resolution condemned the opposition party for demand the dismissal and arrest of Raja based on the CAG report.

It also condemned the opposition for stalling the parliament over demands to set up a joint parliamentary committee (JPC).

According to the resolution, the DMK is like an open book on the spectrum issue.