Issue :   
January 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.         January 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:Jan' 2018


DMK in the ascendant

Santosh Kumar

Manmohan Singh The clean chit given to DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi and party's former telecom minister A Raja by a CBI court in the 2G spectrum allotment case of 2008 could not have come at a more appropriate time than on the day of polling in the RK Nagar by-election, the constituency represented by the late J Jayalalithaa.
In his 1,552 page stunning order, special judge OP Saini while acquitting the two along with 15 others held that there was no criminality or conspiracy in the allotment of spectrum. The judge ruled that some people created a "scam by artfully arranging a few selected facts and exaggerating things beyond recognition to astronomical levels... a huge scam was seen by everyone where there was none".

A Raja and Kanimozhi The judge, who had earlier discharged another UPA minister and Karunanidhi's grand nephew Dayanidhi Maran and his brother Kalanidhi in a 2G related case, said he has "absolutely no hesitation in holding that the prosecution miserably failed to prove any charge against any of the accused, made in well-orchestrated charge sheet". The order has come seven years after the Supreme Court set up a special court to try the accused. In those seven years much water has flown down the Cooum river in Chennai with Jayalalithaa taking her AIADMK to a second consecutive term in office, a feat earlier accomplished by her mentor and DMK outcast MG Ramachandran. If the DMK was the casualty of the 2G scam at the state level with Jayalalithaa mopping up all the 39 Lok Sabha seats, at the national level its ally Congress was decimated. When DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, whose time in Tihar had practically crippled the nonagenarian Karunanidhi , told newspersons at the end of the verdict that she always believed she would "see light at the end of the tunnel", she must have really meant it.
For, destiny had different things in store for her and for Jayalalithaa whose sudden death turned Dravidian politics upside down. While aspirants to the late chief minister's legacy fought a bitter battle, an ailing wheelchair bound Karunanidhi, though reluctantly, named son MK Stalin from his second wife, overlooking Kanimozhi, favourite daughter from the third wife, as heir apparent. Stalin has held the fort with considerable elan and now with the 2G scam behind the DMK's 'rising sun' is poised to shine more brightly.

M Karunanidhi But there is a section of political pundits in Tamil Nadu which view the verdict suspiciously. The group sees some sort of bait in the CBI court ruling, though many in DMK feel the judgment has nothing to do with BJP. A national daily has quoted one prominent DMK leader as saying, "It is good news for Thalapathi (meaning 'commander' as Stalin is called by party workers) and bad news for EPS-OPS and their mentors in Delhi."
However, in hindsight, much importance was given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's last minute decision to call on Karunanidhi while in Chennai to attend a public function last month. This was at a time when BJP brokered a so called 'merger' of the two warring factions within the AIADMK led by chief minister E Palaniswami and four-time stand-in CM O Panneerselvam. Since things are not rosy on that front, it is believed that efforts will be on to take DMK into the NDA stable. Local BJP leaders see no other way to make lotus bloom, even temporarily, in this Dravidian soil.
Winds of change are definitely sweeping across the Vindhyas. Elections are due in neighbouring Karnataka next year. Amit Shah and company are successfully keeping the Hindu broth boiling in Marxist Kerala. If only Stalin and Kanimozhi say yes...that is what BJP is waiting for. But it will be difficult for the DMK to ditch Congress which has stood with it during hard times. At least political wisdom says so. But one can never be sure when it comes to power-hungry politicians.