DMK 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
"If the Congress raises the issue..., asks us, we have to stand by Raja," party spokesman T K Elangovan, MP, told PTI 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, Elangovan said 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, 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.
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.
Raja's request to Kumar 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," Raja wrote in the letter.
Chacko is likely to get back to Raja with a final decision
soon on the issue after consulting other committee members,
JPC sources said.
Reports had it that 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.
Chacko is likely to get back to Raja with a final decision soon on the issue after consulting other committee members, the sources said.
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, Raja's demand could become a major rallying point for the BJP and Left parties.
At the UPA meeting, besides several issues, the Telangana statehood demand is expected to figure. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had suggested the need for such an early meeting to discuss Telangana.
The meeting will be the first formal interaction between Congress and allies after the AgustaWestland helicopter scam broke out .
Meanwhile, another ally National Conference is apparently upset over the way the execution of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was carried out. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had said it would increase alienation of Kashmiris from the Indian mainstream.