Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jaya courts Congress, promises support if ‘spectrum’ Raja is sacked

New Delhi: Sensing the discomfort within the Congress over DMK’s A Raja continuing in the Union Cabinet, AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa went for the kill on Thursday and demanded that the scam tainted minister be shown the door, while also offering unconditional support to the UPA government on the issue.

To make matters worse for DMK chief Karunanidhi, who has been facing flak for steadfastly supporting Raja, Jayalalithaa has not just promised the support of her nine MPs – in the eventuality of DMK withdrawing support to the Manmohan Singh government – but has also promised to “arrange” the remaining nine MPs required to fill in for the DMK’s strength (18) in the current Lok Sabha. 
Speaking to a television channel, Jayalaitha said, “I have been consistently issuing statements on the spectrum scam and the Congress needs to take action against Raja and make him accountable for the huge loss.” As per reports, Raja’s decisions regarding the allocation of 2G spectrum has cost the national exchequer a whopping Rs 1.76 lakh crore. 

Today not only the Opposition or myself but in the country is asking why Raja hasn’t been dismissed. Why the Central government has not been able to dismiss the tainted minister for such a crime against the nation, she said. 

“If Congress is not taking action against the central minister in fear of losing the coalition with DMK, then I assure them that the numbers needed to form government at the Centre will be given by my party,” she said. 

“The hesitation of Congress in taking action against Raja is obvious. There is no point in expecting that Raja will resign on its own and in expecting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi to ask him to go, he will never do that,” AIADMK leader said. 

Pushing her point further, “Every constitutional authority, from the CAG to Supreme Court has commented in detail about the massive scam by Raja and the DMK, so what is holding back the Congress even when it is daily being attacked by the opposition?.” ve commented on the massive scam caused by the telecom minister, she added. 

Commending Congress’ move of sacking tainted ministers such as Shashi Tharoor, Ashok Chavan and Suresh Kalmadi, the AIADMK leader said, “When it’s coming to Congress’ own members it has taken a very firm stand and sacked its ministers, but the problem arises when the particular member is from an aligned party.” 

Sending out a clear message of having an alliance with the former chief minister also assured of the numbers required to form a government at the centre. Assuring the Congress party she said, “We already have 9 members in the Lok Sabha and the number required is 18 to form a government. I assure that there are like-minded persons who are ready to pitch in and extend their support.” “I guarantee backing 18 MPS to the Congress,” she added. 

“If Congress has the will to sack Raja then I will show the way. I am not in the habit of making idle claims, when I say I have 18 Mps, I mean what I am saying,” she said. 

Stressing that there are no permanent enemies in politics, Jayalalithaa also warmed up to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, despite her past differences with the UPA chairperson, she said, “My party is 38 years old and I am personally 28 years old in politics. There are bound to be ups and down and there is bound to be a past, but one cannot keep harping about the past. It is part and parcel of politics and everybody should move towards the future.” 

Stalin sees no wrong in Kovai ‘encounter’ death

Nov. 10: While members of the Left parties and even ally VCK charged the state police with violating human rights, the government defended the “encounter” killing of alleged rapist and killer Mohanakrishnan by the Coimbatore police.
Replying to a special call attention moved by the opposition parties on recent kidnaps and the encounter, Mr Stalin elaborated on the recent gruesome Coimbatore double murder and said the government would show no mercy to people involved in such crimes.
Stating that the police have been advised to act stringently to curb incidents like kidnapping and extortion, Mr Stalin said the cops have stepped up vigil after a spate of abductions of school students. Schools and the school managements have been instructed to hold discussions with parents about the safety of children and the police, education and transport departments have been instructed to work in tandem to ensure that students are safe.
The deputy CM also said the police would also be patrolling school areas in the morning and evening.

Congress makes DMK blush on cement prices

Nov. 10: In an embarrassment for the ruling DMK, ally Congress on Wednesday complained that cement manufacturers have not reduced prices as they promised chief minister M. Karunanidhi. Raising the issue in the Assembly on Wednesday, Congress whip Peter Alphonse, often criticised for his pro-DMK approach even within his party, said cement prices have not been reduced even a week after the manufacturers made the promise during a meeting with Mr Karunanidhi.
Last week, manufacturers met Mr Karunanidhi and assured him that they would reduce prices by Rs 40 per bag. “The price of cement is Rs 200 per bag in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, but it is sold here for Rs 270 per bag even now,” Mr Alphonse pointed out, adding that poor and middle class people were facing serious difficulties in buying cement at the current market price.