The AIADMK has set the tone for a bitter election campaign for the upcoming assembly polls in Tamil Nadu by raising the Aircel-Maxis issue in Parliament to target not only the Congress but its arch-rival DMK as well.
The AIADMK offensive has widely been attributed to a recent decision by the DMK and Congress to forge an alliance against Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa in the state elections.
“It’s like killing two birds with one stone,” said an AIADMK MP on condition of anonymity.
His party repeatedly alleged the involvement of DMK leader and ex-telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti in the Aircel-Maxis deal with “deep roots” in the 2G-spectrum allocation scam.
The AIADMK members had on Tuesday stalled proceedings in both houses and on Wednesday the government played ball and readily accepted the party’s demand for a discussion on the issue in Lok Sabha.
“This is because the government wanted to deflect the attention from the Rohith Vemula issue and the JNU row in which they are on a back-foot,” said Tamil Nadu Congress leader SV Ramani.
The AIADMK is going to make the Aircel-Maxis deal one of their main talking points in the election campaign and project the DMK-Congress combine as a “corrupt bloc”.
As a counter, DMK will try to corner the ruling party over the alleged failed ‘handling’ of the flood in the state.
Political observers suggest Jayalalithaa is safe from anti-incumbency sentiments.
Chidambaram was among those senior Congress leaders who had been strong votaries of revival of ties with the DMK, which had pulled out of the UPA in 2013 on the Sri Lanka human rights issue.
For its part, the BJP is scouting for partners to spread its wings in Tamil Nadu where it failed to make any mark in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections despite stitching a broad alliance with several regional outfits.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier described Jayalalithaa as a “very good friend” and the luncheon meeting between the two in August last year at the AIADMK supremo’s Poes Garden residence in Chennai had set off speculation that the two parties might join hands ahead of the 2016 state polls.