Will the Congress break relations with DMK?
High point of relationship
Congress-DMK relations are seven years old. It was very strong for the first five years during the UPA government’s first term. DMK got plumb ministerial berths. With the return to power of the UPA for the second term in 2009, the relationship got strengthened further. DMK demanded and got whatever ministerial posts it wanted. It was simply ‘DMK proposed, Congress acted’. A node of Karunanidhi was enough to get anything done in Delhi. He used to boast ‘Delhi is in Gopalapuram’ (Gopalapuram is a posh area in Chennai where Karunanidhi resides).
In 2008, Dayanidhi Maran fell from Karunanidhi’s favour and was removed from the Union Cabinet at the recommendations of Karunanidhi. Then Sun TV started telecasting about the 2G spectrum scandal of the Telecom Minister A. Raja amounting to Rs.176000 crore. As this telecast was causing nuisance to Karunanidhi and his family members, a truce was agreed upon and Dayanidhi Maran was back in the Union Cabinet as Textile Minister. The spectrum scandal was forgotten by everyone.
Deterioration of the relations
But the 2G scam was given another life by the report submitted by the CAG. The principal opposition BJP pounced upon this report and started embarrassing the UPA government and the Congress Party. Media also joined the fray. Due to political pressure, A. Raja was made the scapegoat and removed from the Cabinet. Later on, he was charge sheeted by the CBI, much to the embarrassment of Kapil Sibal (who had claimed that no money was lost by the government in the 2G spectrum scam) and lodged in Tihar jail in Delhi. At this point, relations between the Congress and the DMK started deteriorating. Still, because of the impending Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, the relationship was artificially preserved.
But much to the chagrin of Karunanidhi, his party was massacred in the elections and his arch enemy Jayalalithaa became the Chief Minister. Congress and the DMK started blaming each other for the defeat. Even during the elections, the two parties did not willingly work for each others’ victory. After the election results, Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi was arrested and denied a bail. In the hot Delhi summer, Kanimozhi is languishing in seething cauldron and Karunanidh has been lamenting about lack of help from the Congress Party. Congress is unable to help him because the Supreme Court is directly monitoring the case and politicians cannot interfere in the court proceedings.
Now the relationship between the two parties DMK and the Congress are at a break point. DMK wants to break the relations and join the BJP camp as it has rightly sensed that it is the BJP that is going to come to power in the next elections. With scam after scam unfolding every day, Congress support nationwide is dwindling. Inefficient leaders like Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram, Digvijay Singh, Kapil Sibal and some others are making a mockery of governance. Sonia Gandhi’s charm cannot carry the Congress through to victory unless something extraordinary happens.
Moreover, Karunanidhi is also worried that Jayalalithaa may strike a deal with the BJP at the last minute and the AIADMK may have ministers in the Central government to be formed by the BJP. He wants to pre-empt this with his rich political experience and vision. He senses that this is the right time to come out of the Congress camp and join the BJP camp. By doing this, he can have DMK ministers in the Central government that will offset his loss of power in the State to some extent and also help in keeping Jayalalithaa in check.
If DMK leaks out the ultimate 2G beneficiary…..
But the Congress is not willing to severe its relations with the DMK. This is because, it needs the help of the DMK members in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to prevent report about 2G scam being placed in the parliament. Already it has succeeded in blocking the report of the PAC. The Congress fears that if 2G report is placed in the parliament, a lot of truth may come out of it. Moreover, the Congress also needs DMK’s cooperation in keeping it secret about where the mind-boggling amount of Rs.176000 crore had gone. As an accomplice, DMK leaders or at least top leaders like Karunanidhi and Dayalu Ammal should know about which foreign bank account the amount had gone and who the beneficiary was. If the DMK leaks out these matters, then it will be a severe embarrassment to some top Congress leaders. Therefore Congress needs DMK’s favour in keeping this matter a secret.
DMK for BJP
Right at the moment, DMK wants to cut its relationship with the Congress. But the Congress is cringing before the DMK in order to protect the secret of the 2G spectrum scam beneficiary. In my opinion, the Congress will not succeed in its mission for very long. The DMK will ultimately walk out of the Congress camp and join BJP. BJP will also readily accept it as it had earlier burned not only its fingers but hands when AIADMK was in its camp. The BJP knows that if Jayalalithaa joins its camp, she will pull down the BJP government in the parliament by one vote as happened to Vajpayee earlier. BJP finds that Karunanidhi is dependable and trustworthy than Jayalalithaa.