It’s not just about disgraced telecom minister A Raja any more. Tamil Nadu chief minister and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi found himself cornered politically as CBI raids came closer to his family as it pursued money trail in the 2G spectrum scam.
Senior DMK leaders were in a tizzy and couldn’t fathom the immediate impact or fallout of Wednesday’s raids -- on people very close to Karunanidhi’s daugher Kanimozhi and his second wife, Rajathi.
But one thing was clear. The DMK ties with Congress were no longer the same, and in fact under severe strain. The DMK as a party was also in a utter confusion because neither senior leaders nor the cadres knew what lay in future.
"It’s the family of Karunanidhi and he will have to decide how to salvage the situation when the state elections are four months away," said DMK leaders who did not wish to be quoted.“It is not just Raja who can be expelled and we go on as usual. Now, it’s got very close to the family,” said a DMK functionary.
“Kanimozhi is just not another MP like Raja who can be dispensed. If the CBI has zeroed in on her NGO or her mother’s auditors and accountants, the noose is not far off,” said a DMK leader. “Karunanidhi, at his age, won’t give up on this family.”
What has brought matters to the brink, admit DMK officials, is that Karunanidhi’s trust in the Congress -- that the issue would be “capped” with, first the resignation of Raja in the wake of a damning CAG report, and secondly, with the CBI and Enforcement sleuths targeting him alone, stood dashed.
But will Karunanidhi take the first step to snap ties with the Congress to show his ire over CBI raids? Or will the Congress high command, instead of playing the waiting game, take the first decision to walk away?
Indications are that it will be waiting game on either sides. The Congress refrained from commenting on the raids. “We don’t comment on our allies. We trust our allies…the trust is mutual,” Congress media chairman
Janardan Dwivedi said.
As both the parties are dependent on each other, the Congres would tread cautiously on the alliance issue. But at the same time, it is said to be preparing a contingency plan.
Karunanidhi, 85, was in no position to decide either way now. His party is depending on 30-odd Congress MLAs to prop up his minority government. Would he risk the fall of his government before the polls?
DMK’s 18 MPs in the Lok Sabha are a formidable lot when it comes to numbers for the Congress-led UPA at the centre. But, with AIADMK chief Jayalalitha’s offer to garner the numbers to compensate the DMK’s strength was “still open”, said AIADMK officials.
The Tamil Nadu Congress leaders did not mince words in saying that the DMK was a liability before polls. With a taint image, the Dravidian party was a loser and they would like their party high command to mull other options. While a section wants to join hands with Jayalalitha, another wants to follow Rahul Gandhi’s line for other states:walk it alone.
(With inputs from Aurangzeb Naqshbandi)