The 2G verdict acquitting DMK’s A. Raja and Kanimozhi could pave the way for political realignment in Tamil Nadu. The BJP, which is fast getting disenchanted with the AIADMK thanks to its lackluster governance, may view a taint-free DMK as a probable ally for the 2019 elections.
Probably in anticipation of a ‘not guilty’ verdict the BJP had openly courted the DMK which saw Prime Minister Modi visiting DMK president Karunanidhi at his residence in November. “The way the CBI mishandled the entire case it was apparent that no one would be convicted. I am sure the BJP and Arun Jaitley would have had clear indications that the DMK leaders will go scot free in the case,” observed a former Advocate General.
The DMK had also lent support to the Modi government in the Rajya Sabha over the GST bill when Jayalalithaa had opposed it and AIADMK MPs had walked out of the house. Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had quietly built a good rapport with DMK’s Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi. It was these two who had co-ordinated Modi’s sudden plan to call on Karunanidhi. Since Stalin was in the middle-east he had to rush to Chennai to make his presence felt.
With the 2G bogey off her back, Kanimozhi would emerge stronger and with the backing of the BJP could become a key player within the DMK. “She has been seeking her pound of flesh but Stalin used to cite the 2G case to deny her due. Now she would assert herself more openly with the backing of Raja, who has always seen as her loyalist,” said a senior DMK MLA.
A BJP-DMK alliance might look incongruous now since the DMK has been attacking the BJP and calling the present AIADMK government as a stooge of the BJP that has ignored the interests of Tamil Nadu. But the same DMK, after sailing with the NDA for more than four years switched sides to team up with the Congress in 2004. So seeking out allies across the political spectrum is not new to the AIADMK or the DMK.
“The BJP had no qualms in aligning with Sukh Ram in Himachal Pradesh since they badly needed the Brahmin votes. Amit Shah even described the Telecom case against him as an old one. Now that the DMK has got a clean chit the BJP would not mind an alliance with that party as that would suit the larger game plan of weakening the Congress,” pointed out political commentator Ravindran Duraiswamy.
The only hitch could be Stalin’s reluctance to be seen in the company of the BJP at the risk of losing minority votes in the state. He also feels that the Congress has more votes in Tamil Nadu than the BJP. At the same time he is angry with the Congress for having made the DMK a scapegoat in the 2G case. “The case was foisted with the intent of demeaning and destroying the DMK using falsified accounts,” he observed today after the acquittal came. “Since the case was filed during the UPA government’s second term and prosecuted during most of its tenure Stalin should also clarify who tried to destroy his party. Is he saying that the Congress used the scandal to fix the DMK?” asked writer Maalan.
Stalin may bide his time, watch the performance of the BJP and Congress in Karnataka, MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh before taking a call. The RK Nagar byelection result could also be an indicator which way the electoral wind is blowing. In the meanwhile the DMK would aim to celebrate the 2G acquittal with public meetings and victory marches.