Chennai/New Delhi, Nov 12 : As the opposition demand for sacking Telecom Minister A Raja grew shrill, DMK supremo M Karunanidhi today strongly backed him saying he is not 'guilty' in the 2G spectrum controversy even as the embattled minister ruled out his resignation.
Appearing unperturbed over the growing clamour for Raja to be removed from the Union Cabinet, the Tamil Nadu Chief minister also virtually ruled out the Telecom Minister's resignation noting that he only went by the procedures followed by his predecessors in the ministry.
Amid reports that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may take a call on the demand for Raja's resignation after his return from Seoul tonight, Karunanidhi said there was no need for him to talk to the Congress over the issue.
"He is not a criminal. We are not guilty. He just went by the procedures set by his predecessors Pramod Mahajan and Arun Shourie of the previous NDA Government. What is wrong in that? They came up with first come, first serve policy.
When he has followed the rules, how can you say Raja flouted the rules," he told reporters in Chennai.
"He followed the policies," was Karunanidhi's prompt reply when pressed to comment on the CAG reportedly faulting Raja for alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation. Raja has denied all allegations against him.
The BJP today made a renewed demand that Raja be sacked forthwith with its spokesperson Prakash Javadekar asking why the prime minister was silent on the issue. CPI(M) chief Prakash Karat and CPI leader D Raja also echoed BJP's demands.
Javadekar also referred to the talk of threat by DMK to pull out all its six DMK ministers in the UPA government if Raja is removed, saying the Congress is under "real test."
The Congress on its part said as far as 2G spectrum issue is concerned its stand is very clear. "First, it is a sub-judice mater and secondly the CAG report is still to be laid on the table of the House," party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said.
About the CAG report in the spectrum controversy, Karunanidhi said, "I know about the report. It has given adverse reports about all Prime Ministers and Chief Ministers."
On AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa's offer to provide support to UPA Government in the event of DMK pullout over the Raja issue, Karunanidhi said "she has been shown the door."
"They (Congress) have told her that there are no vacancies. They have closed the door," he said
Undeterred by the mounting opposition attack on his role in the spectrum controversy, Raja ruled out resignation saying he will prove that everything has been done according to the law.
"The question does not arise at all. We will prove that everything has been done according to the law," the Minister told reporters, a day after the opposition stalled proceedings in Parliament for the second consecutive day demanding his resignation.
The DMK Minister maintained that he will not comment on the spectrum allocation issue as it is "sub-judice" and said the affidavit submitted by the Telecom Department before the Supreme Court yesterday "says it all".
"The entire matter is sub-judice. It may not be fair on my part to comment on this... Whatever I have done is according to the law," he said.
Raja said that CAG had made similar harsh observations even after the 1999 policy under which the government moved to revenue share regime from fixed licence fee structure.
After that CAG report there has been no change in the policy and the same policy is being followed ever since 1999, including by his predecessors.
The Telecom Minister also took a dig at Jayalalithaa today for asking the Prime Minister to sack him from the Cabinet with a promise of "unconditional support" to the Congress if DMK withdrew support.
"She has no moral right to make such statements. She is the only Chief Minister in the country who refused to recognise her own signature in the court of law to save her skin," Raja said. PTI