Has the DMK, to save supremo M Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi, made a deal with itself to dump its Dalit poster boy?
Tongues started wagging on Friday as Kanimozhi's lawyer Ram Jethmalani sought to pass the 2G spectrum scam blame on Raja, saying she had no role in it and the conspiracy was hatched by the former telecom minister.
The CBI has accused Kanimozhi of entering into a criminal conspiracy with Raja to allocate spectrum to a favoured few and being a party to the transfer scam money to DMK-owned Kalaignar TV.
Kanimozhi, made her first appearance - escorted by her husband Aravindan and a battery of 11 party MPs - before the special CBI court on Friday.
Jethmalani said, "It was Raja who floated the idea of transferring Rs 200 crore from Cineyug Films to Kalaignar TV. It was his conspiracy and she had no role in it. Raja generated these funds, claiming it a genuine investment for better prospects of Kalaignar TV."
Outside the court, DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan, however, said, "Jethmalani does not belong to the DMK. He is defending Kanimozhi and Raja will be defended by his advocate. This is how the court proceedings work."
Speaking for his client, Jethmalani opened his argument with "My misfortune is that I am Karunanidhi's daughter and an MP."
And by the time the hearing was adjourned till Saturday, his arguments directly aimed at Raja left an unmistakable impression.
Especially so, as Karunanidhi had always claimed that Raja was innocent and that position remained unchanged even after he was arrested in November last year.
Jethmalani said on behalf of his client, "Let us also assume that at his (Raja's) instance Rs 200 crore was routed to the TV channel (Kalaignar). What is the offence committed by me? I am only a shareholder in the company."
He said, "I do not suggest that everybody is innocent in this case, but so far as I am concerned I was not handling the day-to-day affairs of the company which had been in the charge-sheet."
Jethmalani, however, recorded a caveat, saying his arguments for Kanimozhi were being made without prejudice to the case of the other accused, including Raja who was present in the courtroom.