Rahul Gandhi dials Kanimozhi but DMK may hang up on Congress

The 2G verdict opens up Tamil Nadu politics in a way that may decisively affect the national electoral scene going into 2019.

Published: 22nd December 2017 01:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2017 07:20 PM   |  A+A-

DMK MP Kanimozhi celebrates with her husband G Aravindan and mother Rajathi Ammal after she was acquitted by a special court in the 2G scam case in New Delhi on Thursday. | PTI

DMK MP Kanimozhi celebrates with her husband G Aravindan and mother Rajathi Ammal after she was acquitted by a special court in the 2G scam case in New Delhi on Thursday. | PTI

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The 2G verdict opens up Tamil Nadu politics in a way that may decisively affect the national electoral scene going into 2019. On the face of it, the DMK is on record saying that its alliance with the Congress is intact. But even a basic cost-benefit analysis shows what a deal on the other side can deliver to the parties involved.

That’s the reason why the Congress was eager to underline its support to the DMK all through the time when the 2G spectrum allocation case became a metaphor for corruption.

When Rahul Gandhi called up Kanimozhi to congratulate her on the acquittal, it had everything to do with future politics. Two senior leaders, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Anand Sharma, were rushed to her residence.
For the record, Kanimozhi made it a point to thank Rahul Gandhi for calling her after the verdict. Her brother, Stalin, distributed sweets in Chennai. But there was no naming or blaming anyone.

On the surface, it played out as the usual Congress vs BJP rhetorical battle—with former PM Manmohan Singh and his ex-ministers Kapil Sibal, P. Chidambaram, Veerappa Moily and others calling it a vindication for the Congress.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley retorted by saying the “Congress should not treat it like a badge of honour”.

But all that was on the surface. The fact is, the verdict opens avenues for the DMK switching over to the NDA. A senior DMK leader told The New Indian Express as much—“it may not happen tomorrow, but....”. This had become a distinct possibility after the PM visited DMK patriarch M. Karunanidhi in Chennai to enquire about his health.

There were other straws in the wind. The DMK had scaled down its anti-demonetisation agitation, making it a point to stage its protest programmes separately from the Congress.

After the public outcry over the 2G scam, the UPA govt buckled under pressure and sacked A. Raja. The CBI also filed its chargesheet during the UPA regime and Raja and Kanimozhi sent to jail during the previous dispensation. The fact that they have been acquitted during Modi’s rule stands out.

Tamil Nadu has 39 seats in the Lok Sabha. The AIADMK, thanks to the split in its ranks, is generally looking at a subdued future. And the DMK, with Stalin at its helm, is comparatively looking up. So, who will have the last laugh on the 2G verdict is not yet known. Politics, after all, is a game of possibilities.

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