Will Raja give his version in Parliament?
Now that former Union Telecom Minister A. Raja is out on bail and has started attending Lok Sabha, speculation has started as to whether he will give the reasons for his resignation in Parliament.
Raja who is facing serious charges of corruption in what has come to be known as the 2G scam was in the Tihar jail for nearly 15 months. All along he had claimed that he would not seek bail but instead prove his innocence. All others accused along with him were released on bail one by one and on Tuesday, the CBI special court also agreed to let him walk out on bail.
What is now to be seen is that whether Raja will give his version in Parliament. Under the rules, any minister who resigns is entitled to present his viewpoint and reasons for quitting. In Raja’s case, he had not come to Parliament even once since his arrest and thus was in no position to take advantage of this rule. But as he is out, he can use this opportunity if he so wishes to. And if he does, his version will naturally assume great importance.
There are some leaders like Subramanium Swamy who have demanded greater security for the former Minister given that his role in unearthing the complete 2G scam will be crucial in the Court. There are others who are of the view that as some of his close associates died in circumstances described as mysterious in Chennai last year, he should be provided full protection. Raja obviously knows the importance of security and may have already opted for it on his release.
There is also a debate going on that MPs who have been charged under various sections of law should not be allowed to attend Parliament. In the latest instance, Raja’s case is being cited after that of Suresh Kalmadi, Chairman of the Indian Olympic Association. Kalmadi has been regularly coming to Parliament since his release. The question that arises is that as none of them has been convicted in any case till now, they have every right to attend Parliament as they represent two Lok Sabha constituencies and are elected representatives of the people. In their defence, examples of L.K. Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ms Mayawati, Vilasrao Deshmukh and many others are cited. If they are able to attend regular proceedings and be even on important committees, how can these two be prevented?
The DMK supreme M. Karunanidhi has already made it known that Raja was already in active politics and to ask whether he will play an important role for his party was a question that is redundant. The Tamil Nadu CM, J. Jayalalithaa feels that any attempt was being made to dilute the 2G scandal. Time alone will tell, how Raja conducts himself in Parliament since he is back.