DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi was in two minds on a day the CBI carried out raids on residences of former telecom minister A Raja in connection with the 2G scam. Under pressure from two sides in his family, Karunanidhi has, hitherto, defended Raja to the hilt, said, "If Raja is found guilty, we will act against him without any hesitation."
But, he added, "Raja has done no wrong. We will continue to support him. Raja is not accused until CBI completes its probe and he is proved guilty."
"We are ready for JPC on spectrum allocation issue if the probe also brings within its ambit scams during NDA rule."
Asked whether he had "blackmailed" the Congress on the scam, as alleged by his rival, AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa, he shot back, "I never indulge in blackmailing like others."
Other DMK leaders saw Karunanidhi's statement as a result of pressure from his sons - union minister MK Alagiri and deputy chief MK Stalin -and brothers Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi Maran. They want Raja stripped of all posts to save the DMK in the assembly polls in May next year. Their argument is the alliance with Congress can be saved if Raja is axed.
On the other hand, Karunanidhi's daughter, Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and her mother Rajathi, who are close to Raja, are pushing for his case. Ever since his resignation, they have ensured Karunanidhi defends Raja, playing the Dalit card to support him, sources said.
Political analysts in Chennai saw "subtle" hints of a change in Karunanidhi's approach. Speculations had been rife within the party of an imminent action of stripping Raja of the two party posts - as propaganda secretary and secretary of Perambulur district unit.
Professor P Kanagaraj of Government Arts College, Coimbatore opines the DMK may be willing to sacrifice Raja in the overall interests of the party. It is unlikely the DMK-Congress alliance would snap, he felt, as "electoral arithmetic favours the alliance".
(With inputs from KV Lakshmana, Chennai)