New Delhi: Yielding to relentless opposition pressure, Telecom Minister A Raja resigned Sunday Night in the wake of the 2G Spectrum allocation scam.
A Raja said he tendered his resignation as advised by DMK chief M. Karunanidhi. “Our beloved leader discussed the issues with me,” he said adding that he put in his papers “in order to avoid embarrassment to the government and (let) run the Parliament (smoothly).”
Raja how ever added that his resignation “doesn’t mean that he accepted the allegations against him ..”. “I will prove that I did everything according to norms.. my conscience is very clear,” he said after handing over his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Raja, 57, met Karunanidhi in Chennai twice in the last 24 hours, before flying back to Delhi and went straight to the Prime Minister’s 7, Race Course Road residence to hand over his resignation letter.
The resignation comes ahead of tomorrow’s Supreme Court hearing of two petitions alleging involvement of Raja in the spectrum scam.
Also, the opposition parties had made it clear that they would not allow Parliament to function if Raja does not step down.
Ironically, Raja had told reporters at the Chennai airport before leaving for Delhi that, “There is no question of me resigning and there is no need for it.”
The top Congress leadership met in Delhi and discussed the issue anticipating uproar in Parliament by the opposition which has been demanding his removal.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party president Sonia Gandhi and senior leaders Pranab Mukherjee and Ahmad Patel, political secretary to the Congress chief, attended the meeting amid growing view in the party that Raja’s continuance in office has become untenable and that he must go.
The opposition has been demanding removal of Raja after the government auditor CAG is believed to have indicted the minister for not distributing 2G Spectrum in a transparent manner resulting in a revenue loss of over Rs.1.76 lakh crore.