Raja’s stint as telecom minister mired in controversy (Profile)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

CHENNAI - A. Raja, who quit the union cabinet late Sunday as the communications and IT minister over the 2G scam allocation row, entered the Lok Sabha in 2009 for the fourth time in succession since 1996.

A triple degree holder (B.Sc, BL and ML), this time around, shifted to the cool climes of the Nilgiris reserved constituency as his home Perambalur seat was deserved in the delimitation exercise.

Though he had been minister of state for rural development and health and family welfare and the cabinet minister for environment and forests, his stint as the cabinet minister for communications and information technology was mired in the spectrum allocation controversy.

It is said this made the Congress bit reluctant to induct into the government again in 2009. But with the tough posturing of DMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, the Congress had to change its mind.

According to DMK sources, Raja got a ministerial berth at the centre in 1999 on the recommendation of Murasoli Maran, who was impressed by the intellectual capability of the young advocate.

Later Karunanidhi too got impressed with Raja.

Raja is one of the trustees of the trust that would run the hospital to be set up at Karunanidhi’s Gopalapuram residence after his and his wife Dayalu Ammal’s lifetime.

A poet by himself, Raja has published a collection of Tamil poems.

Married to M.A. Parameswari, he has one daughter.

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