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Cong-DMK bonhomie. ‘kills’ Raja’s book

Author: Pioneer News Service
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: July 18, 2016
URL:   http://www.dailypioneer.com/todays-newspaper/cong-dmk-bonhomie-kills-rajas-book.html

The warming up of relation between the Congress and the DMK has forced former Telecom Minister A Raja to shelve the publication of his proposed ‘tell-all book’ that was supposed to carry his side of the story in the 2G scam.

Penguin India is supposed to release the book titled In My Defence by Raja by this year end, when the 2G Court is expected to finish the final arguments in the case.

Penguin had announced that it will release Raja’s book in their 2015 catalogue along with cover design. In several interviews, Raja boasted that he will come out with an explosive book to expose those who turned him into a scapegoat in the 2G scam. According to people close to Raja, the former Telecom Minister had came down heavily on Congress leaders, and his Cabinet colleagues in UPA like P Chidambaram, Pranab Mukherjee and then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the book.

Raja had written the manuscript in Tamil language; it was translated into English by veteran journalist Paran Balakrishnan, who was declared as co-author in the Penguin’s catalogue.

“Now for the first time, Raja tells his side of the story — defending his decision regarding 2G allotments, drawing a revelatory picture of the corridors of power and the pressure he faced from big business, Government and the bureaucracy and of his time in jail. Honest, hard-hitting and with no holds barred, this is an important and utterly absorbing book,” said the Penguin catalogue of 2015, about the 288- page book priced at Rs599.

Raja even informed several CBI officials and lawyers who were connected with the 2G Court about his memoir. Even in the court arguments, his forthcoming memoir contents were discussed. Lawyers said Raja told them that his plan was to release the book soon after the Judge OP Saini declares reserving of judgment after the end of Final Arguments, expected to be over in October or November.

Some CBI officials said Raja even told them that he would “expose them” for “saving top Congress leadership” and for putting all the blame on him. “I have a chapter for you people,” a CBI officer said quoting Raja.

But Raja’s plan went for a toss when the Congress and the DMK patched up their differences and entered into alliance for Tamil Nadu Assembly elections in February. According to DMK leaders, as soon as the Congress-DMK alliance was sealed, top leadership of DMK summoned Raja to abandon his plan to release the “tell-all” book. Raja again met DMK top leadership in June to impress upon them to change their decision.

But he was told that he must drop the book to avoid embarrassment to alliance partner Congress and its leaders.

This is not the first time Raja has retreated after promising to expose big guns of the Congress.  In 2011, during his Framing of Charges arguments, Raja came down heavily on Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram and said he would cross examine them as witnesses. But later he did not pursue this demand in court.
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