For someone who was in jail for a year and three months,A Raja re-entered public life without a glitch.
If each of the other 13 accused in the 2G spectrum scam including fellow DMK MP Kanimozhi chose to withdraw from the public glare immediately after their release,Raja marked the occasion by throwing a dinner at at 2A,Motilal Nehru Marg,his official residence.
Some of his constant companions for the past year turned up too. Among them were his former private secretary and co-accused R K Chandolia,the MD of Kalaignar TV and another co-accused Sharad Kumar. Relatives of accused Shahid Balwa were spotted too.
While Raja did not socialise much he met supporters separately his wife went around,attending to guests. Earlier,around 7:45 pm,his family and supporters made sure he was welcomed like an all-conquering king.
The former telecom minister left by the gate leading out of Tihars Central Jail 1 even as his lawyers spread the rumour that he would use Gate 3. Only a couple of very alert DMK supporters of the 40-odd who had turned up dented the plan. They launched themselves in front of the car as it passed Gate 3,slowing down the vehicle. As if on cue,somebody fired up a large roll of crackers. Journalists caught up with Rajas car,but all they saw was an extended right hand.
A huge crowd awaited the Perambalur MP when he reached home. Raja did not talk to the press there either,and entered the house amid the sound of drums. DMK leader T R Baalu travelled with him from Tihar.
Former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran,Minister of State for Social Justice Napoleon and MPs Rithesh and Vasanthi Stanley also met Raja. Later in the evening,there was an altercation between DMK supporters and journalists after the former reacted angrily to the press trying to capture images of the dinner from across the wall.