Ruling DMK on Wednesday appeared worried as to the political fall out in the forthcoming assembly elections as high visibility raids by CBI into the 2G Spectrum scam tainted Raja, the dalit face of the party, as also his numerous aides, relatives and friends were brought under the investigations.
With television beaming live pictures, party leaders think that the issue is sure to have an adverse impact on the image of the party.
Allegations of land grab by Raja's associates in his home district of Perambulur have come in at an inopportune time, as he is said to have facilitated the rip off of poor peasants, most of them dalits.
The CBI's Wednesday raids also zeroed in on an aide of Sadiq Batcha, Subbudu, in Perambulur as investigators probe the possibility of 2G specturm scam money to have financed land deals across the district.
"These investigations are coming in the wake of CBI raids, and surely have the potential to damage the party prospects to some extent," said a senior ruling party leader. Sources also indicate that pressure would be growing on the chief minister and party patriarch M Karunanidhi to take some corrective action. Deputy chief minister M Stalin and union chemicals and fertilizers minister M Alagiri are said to be mounting pressure to get the party distanced from Raja as they fear continued association might cost the party politically, party sources said.
Their fear seems very real, given the vehemence with which the opposition AIADMK has begun to raise the issue. But at the same time, there is apprehension among AIADMK circles that the CBI raids may not really get to the bottom of the scam as the action has come two years too late.
Senior AIADMK leader and former finance minister C Ponnaian said, "there are mere eyewash". "They will catch only the small fish, but what about the big fish?, he questioned. The CBI raids are only to avoid a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe, the former state finance minster said.
Similar were the sentiments of his party MLA, Badar Sayeed who said that "only Raja is being focused now. But what about the Maharajas?"