Date : 8.12.

2010

Press Statement of

Selvi

J JAYALALITHAA

General Secretary - AIADMK
Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Leader of the Opposition - Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly

Like the Roman despot Nero, who reputedly chose to play on his fiddle while his nation was burning, the equally despotic Karunanidhi chose to relax with his ministerial team at a film function, while his state was drowning in the fury of the monsoon. Hundreds have lost their lives. Several thousand acres of crops have been submerged. Hundreds of kilometers of roads have been damaged and lakhs of people have been rendered homeless and are anxiously waiting for relief. At such a critical time, Karunanidhi is busy with his favourite pastime. Attending filmi functions!! His presence at the cassette release function of the film Ilaignan came as no surprise. After all, by his own admission, he has been paid an astounding Rs 45 lakhs for writing the script for the film. What was appalling was that the entire Tamil Nadu Council of Ministers was attending the function rather than attending to the woes of the people.

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Interestingly, Karunanidhi used the platform of this function to make an impassioned public defence of Andimuthu Raja, the prime perpetrator of the Rs 1,76,379 crores Spectrum scam. By making an odious comparison with a mythological story, he sought to make out that Raja alone could not have perpetrated a scam of such enormity on his own. How true! It is a tacit, if inadvertent admission of the fact that Karunanidhi himself, his daughter Kanimozhi and many others are also partners to the loot. Typical of Karunanidhi, the statement is also loaded. It is a veiled threat to the Congress leadership to go slow on the Spectrum investigation. If precipitate steps are taken to corner Raja, Karunanidhi warns, then he will not hesitate to reveal the names of some others directly or indirectly involved in the scam. The implication is that such a revelation could be unpalatable to the Congress. This is Karunanidhi’s way of blackmailing his alliance partner… The nation has suffered a huge loss. This has been pointed out not merely by the opposition and the media but by the Central Vigilance Commissioner, the Comptroller & Auditor General of India and several courts of law as well, including the Supreme Court of India. The CBI has commenced investigations into the issue. The mere resignation of Raja as telecom minister is not the end of the whole imbroglio. The inquiries have to go beyond estimating the loss suffered by the nation. The quantum of kickbacks for perpetrating this mega scam has to be ascertained. The beneficiaries of these kickbacks have to be questioned. The money trail has to be traced. The money has to be recovered. The guilty have to be punished. And the people have to be kept informed on a day-to-day basis of the developments. Justice has to not only be done, it should be seen to have been done. For this, the only recourse is a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe. This is what the opposition parties have been demanding. But the Government has been stonewalling. Parliament has been practically dysfunctional for the best part of three weeks, with the Government showing no signs of relenting. The more the UPA Government resists, the more it confirms that the buck does not stop with Raja. A fact acknowledged by Karunanidhi. There is no alternative to a JPC probe. The opposition will not rest until it is cleared. Meanwhile, since Karunanidhi has hinted that there are more persons behind the scam, it would only be fitting that he comes

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out with the facts himself. It would save him the embarrassment of having to be summoned before the JPC for questioning. Intriguingly, Karunanidhi has taken exception to my demand that Raja should be interrogated and, if warranted, arrested. “When some of her colleagues resigned from the Union Cabinet did Jaya seek their arrest?” he has asked in an absurd reference to me. I would like to point out that no AIADMK member, as Union Minister, had ever presided over a huge scam during his tenure as Union Minister, nor did any AIADMK Union Minister have to resign under a cloud after a public outcry and the combined insistence of a unified opposition, the entire media and even the courts of law. Karunanidhi makes such wild and ridiculous charges merely to divert attention from his own problems. Former DMK minister Tha Kiruttinan was killed in broad daylight in the presence of witnesses. A newspaper office in Madurai was burnt down and three innocent employees were killed in full view of TV cameras. A lorry load of Horlicks vanished into thin air near Madurai. In all these incidents, the criminal mastermind was one and the same person from Karunanidhi’s family, whom he has gone out of his way to protect. Otherwise, why should all these cases still remain in the police records as unsolved? In the case of Raja and the Spectrum scam, Karunanidhi knows that the place of crime is Delhi and not some place in Tamil Nadu. The complainants and witnesses cannot be coerced into turning hostile. The case cannot be manipulated according to his whims. This sense of helplessness is driving him into making desperate statements, for he knows that the day of reckoning is near.

J JAYALALITHAA

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