Tuesday, December 7, 2010

BJP slams Karunanidhi for playing Dalit card

Chennai: The BJP's Tamil Nadu unit on Tuesday slammed DMK president and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for playing the Dalit card in the 2G spectrum scam, allegedly involving his party colleague A Raja, saying the issue should be seen only from a corruption angle and not caste point. 
'Caste has no place in this issue (of 2G spectrum scam).It is only a case of corruption and Karunanidhi's argument (that Raja was being targeted since he was a Dalit) holds no ground,' BJP's former state unit president and senior leader L Ganesan told a press conference here. 
Karunanidhi was only attempting to divert attention on the allegations of spectrum scam, which eventually led to Raja quitting as union telecom Minister, he said adding people will not accept this. 
Karunanidhi had said recently at Vellore that Raja was being targeted since he was a Dalit.

“Is it fair to adopt one stand against a Brahmin (late TT Krishnamachary) and another against a Dalit (Raja),” the DMK president had said on Saturday. 
He had pointed out that when an allegation of corruption was levelled in the Nehru era against then Finance Minister Krishnamachary,he had resigned from the Union ministry and the opposition, which demanded a JPC probe before his resignation, had allowed Parliament to function after his exit. 
Ganesan termed the DMK the 'most casteist party' for playing the Dalit card in this matter, though the 'party claims to be striving for a caste-free society.' 
He said whoever was involved in the scam should be brought to justice and said that Raja was 'just a a pawn' in the entire episode, believed to have caused the exchequer a loss of around Rs 1.76 lakh crore. 
He said BJP would continue pressing for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into allegations of spectrum scam.
Ganesan said party president Nitin Gadkari would spearhead a massive demonstration on January 29 in Chennai on various issues. 
On the Bihar poll results, he said people had voted for development and put an ''end to dynasty politics and jungle raj.' 

Madras High Court suspends lawyer close to A Raja

Chennai: In further embarrassment to former Telecom Minister A Raja, the Madras High Court on Tuesday suspended from the bar a top lawyer who was allegedly involved in an attempt to influence a judge taking the name of the minister. 

A Division Bench, comprising Justice F.M.Ibrahim Khalifulla and Justice M.M.Sundaresh, said the status of R K Chandramohan, a member and subsequently as Chairman of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Pondichery, shall stand suspended forthwith.
He should not be permitted to function as such pending disciplinary action by the Bar Council of India, the bench said. 

Disposing of a petition by a lawyer, the Bench appended a portion of a letter written by a former judge of the court Justice S Reghupati, who had reported that Chandramohan had entered his chamber last year and pleaded that the case of a father and a son, accused in a marks scandal case in Puducherry, for anticipatory bail be considered favourably as they were "family friends of a Union Minister by name Raja". 

Now land scam surfaces in Tamil Nadu

Chennai: After land scams rocking the BJP government in Karnataka, the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu is now facing charges of misuse of discretionary powers in allotting prime land to scores of people, including MLAs, politicians and top bureaucrats.
Information obtained through an RTI query has revealed prime land was allotted to a judge of the Madras High Court, a retired judge, kin of a state minister, DMK and Congress MLAs, and ruling party functionaries and a top Intelligence official among others allegedly in violation of norms. 

According to city-based RTI activist V Gopalakrishnan, who has obtained the information, the allotments were made in the last few years by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB), whose purpose is to create housing stock to applicants who do not own a flat, house or plot.

Several allottees were connected to those in power and included DMK functionaries' kin. 

The beneficiaries were allegedly allotted houses in violation of TNHB rules, as most of them already reportedly owned residential property and at far less price than the market rates. 

Did Raja threaten Madras HC judge?

Chennai: A year after Madras High Court judge R Reghupathy told an open court that a Union minister sought to influence him to grant anticipatory bail to a doctor and his son in a forged mark sheets case filed by CBI, it was revealed Tuesday that the minister in question was none other than former telecom minister A Raja. 

Raja was named as part of an order passed by High Court judge Ibrahim Khalifullah with regard to cancelling of the license of Bar Council of Tamil Nadu chairman Chandramohan - found guilty of trying to pressurising Justice Reghupathy for a favourable judgement in favour of his client. 

In his order, Justice Khalifullah has mentioned excerpts from the letter written by Justice Reghupathy on July 2, 2009 to then Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan. 
Justice Raghupathy in his letter, details of which are known for the first time, said that Chandramohan had met him in his chamber on June 12, 2009 and asked for a favourable judgement for his clients, Krishnamurthy and his son Shridhar, as they are close to a Union minister. 

However, surprisingly, former Chief Justice Balakrishnan told a TV channel that no complaint letter from Justice Reghupathy had reached him in this matter. He evaded any direct question on A Raja. He said he had got a report from the Chief Justice of Madras HC on the incident, though. 

Reghupathy had further written to the CJI that Chandramohan had told him that the Union minister by the name Raja was on phone and wants to talk to him, but he refused and told Chandramohan in no certain terms that law will take its own course. 

The CBI had filed a case against the father-son duo for allegedly using the services of a Puducherry University official and a middle man to inflate the marks of Shridhar. 
However, the man in the eye of various storms, A Raja rejected fresh charges against him

Jaya flays Karuna for attending film function

Chennai: AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Tuesday slammed arch rival, DMK president and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for attending a film function when the state was reeling under the monsoon fury, and likened him to Roman Emperor Nero ''who fiddled when the city (Rome) was burning.'' 

''Thousands of hectares of standing crops have gone under water, 170 persons and nearly 2000 cattle have been killed in various rain-related incidents and people are suffering due to the rain and floods...At such a time, he had happily spent time by attending a cinema music release function,'' she said in a statement here. 

The Opposition Leader said most of Karunanidhi's cabinet colleagues were also present at the function and criticised the timing of the event. 

''Is this public service? Is such a programme necessary at this point of time,'' she asked.
As then chief Minister in 2005, when record rains pounded the state, she visited many affected areas to take stock of the situation and also ensured that government machinery was engaged to take up relief on 'war-footing', Jayalalithaa said. 

She alleged that people in many affected areas were not getting adequate relief and referred to reports that proper damage-assessment was not being carried out by officials.

She said her partymen would distribute relief material in affected areas. 

DMK govt fears losing 2011 elections: Swamy

Chennai: Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy on Monday said police had denied permission for a public meeting, scheduled to be addressed by him on December 9 at Tirunelveli, and said it was the "first indication" of the ruling DMK's fears of losing next year's Assembly polls. 

"The sponsors of the meeting, the AIADMK-backed Voters' Forum, informed me today that the police denied permission due to apprehension over law and order...(this) is the first indication that the DMK and its allies fear to lose the 2011 elections," he said in a statement here.
He alleged that the incident showed that the DMK was "misusing" its authority to "suppress" Opposition from expressing its views. 

"Or it shows that the DMK government has lost control over the state and cannot carry on administration according to the provisions of the Constitution. In either case, I demand that the Centre dismiss Tamil Nadu government and impose President's rule till elections are held in the state," he said.

Swamy, who had moved the Supreme Court over alleged 2G spectrum allocation, said Chief Minister M Karunanidhi was "panicky" that the DMK will lose elections over the alleged scam, involving party leader A Raja who eventually quit as Union telecom minister. 

Centre could have done more for Mother Teresa: Karunanidhi

Chennai: Hailing Mother Teresa for 'having dedicated her life to the service of the poor and ailing,' Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Saturday said the Centre should have celebrated the missionary's birth centenary all over the country rather than just releasing a commemorative coin on her. 
In his address at the birth centenary celebrations of Mother Teresa organised by the state government, Karunanidhi also chided other states including West Bengal, where she lived, for allegedly not celebrating the occasion. 

Responding to Congress MLA S Peter Alphonse, who said that his party-led UPA had released a coin in her honour, Karunanidhi said the Centre could have done more. 

"Alphonse did not let (Congress-led) government down and pointed out that it had released a coin. But that would not have been all and her birth centenary should have been celebrated all over the country," he said. 

The Centre had in August released the commemorative coin to mark the birth centenary celebrations of the Mother. 

Claiming that his party was following the ideals preached by Mother Teresa, the DMK president said the replacement of hand-pulled rickshaws with cycle rickshaws by his government was a sign of the party's respect for the path shown by her. 

He said the hand-pulled rickshaw was still in vogue in the Left-ruled West Bengal. 

Senior Congress leader and MP Oscar Fernandes lauded the state government for its various welfare measures including the Kalaignar Housing Scheme and the rice scheme. 

Land scam surfaces in Tamil Nadu

Chennai: After land scams rocking the BJP government in Karnataka, the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu is now facing charges of misuse of discretionary powers in allotting prime land to scores of people, including MLAs, politicians and top bureaucrats.

Information obtained through an RTI query has revealed prime land was alloted to a judge of the Madras High Court, a retired judge, kin of a state minister, DMK and Congress MLAs, and ruling party functionaries and a top Intelligence official among others allegedly in violation of norms.

According to city-based RTI activist V Gopalakrishnan, who has obtained the information, the allotments were made in the last few years by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB), whose purpose is to create housing stock to applicants who do not own a flat, house or plot. 


Several allottees were connected to those in power and included DMK functionaries' kin.
The beneficiaries were allegedly allotted houses in violation of TNHB rules, as most of them already reportedly owned residential property and at far less price than the market rates.

Death toll in Tamil Nadu rains rises to 179

Chennai, Dec 6: The rain fury has claimed as many as 179 lives in Tamil Nadu since the onset of northeast monsoon in late October. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi today held an emergency meeting of officials to take stock of the situation.


According to the police control office here, the majority of deaths have taken place due to wall collapses and lightning strikes. The weather department has predicted rains till Tuesday evening in coastal districts due to low pressure in Bay of Bengal over Tamil Nadu.


In state capital Chennai, the incessant rains since Sunday night threw life out of gear.


Karunanidhi held a meeting with Chief Secretary S. Malathi and others to review the rain related damage and the relief measures being undertaken. The officials looked into the relief measures taken and checked whether the compensation amount has been properly distributed.


Meanwhile, eight senior officials continued their survey and estimation of rain damage in nine districts -- Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Villupuram, Tuticorin, Tirunelvelli, Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram.


The officials will submit their report on Tuesday and the state cabinet will deliberate on that the same day.


The government has already announced Rs.100 crore towards relief operations in the first phase.