Chennai: The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court’s acquittal on Thursday of all accused in the infamous 2G spectrum case has come as a major boost for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) amid the factional rivalry plaguing the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu.
M.K. Stalin, working president of DMK, said, “It is a historical judgement. It was a political vendetta case to eradicate a political party. And, false calculations were made."
Towards the end of DMK’s rule in 2011, the 2G spectrum scam began to haunt it. Former Union telecom minister A. Raja’s arrest, CBI raids on properties of DMK president M. Karunanidhi’s family members including his daughter Kanimozhi and Raja’s aide Sadiq Batcha death cast a shadow on DMK.
AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa’s campaign ahead of the 2011 assembly elections focused on DMK’s corruption. AIADMK and its allies went on to register a massive victory, securing 199 of the state’s 234 assembly seats.
“It (the corruption charges) had a tremendous impact on the 2011 assembly polls and changed our political landscape. The effects of which were felt even in the 2016 assembly election," said a senior DMK leader, who requested anonymity.
Also Read: 2G spectrum scam verdict: A timeline of events
In the current climate of political turmoil in Tamil Nadu—where the ruling AIADMK is busy fighting off T.T.V. Dhinakaran and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeking an entry into the state’s political arena—the acquittal is expected to boost DMK’s morale and help it assert itself politically.
Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, among those acquitted in the 2G case, said: “To be falsely accused in a case for a notional loss of Rs176,000 crore to appease the opposition is atrocious."
In November, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on Karunanidhi in Chennai, it was seen as politically significant as it came ahead of the judgement in the 2G case and amid speculation about a DMK-BJP alliance.
However, the DMK’s top leadership is clear that only an anti-BJP stand will help it strengthen its base in Tamil Nadu politics. This, said the DMK leader, is “evident in the recent rise of Dhinakaran. The popular support that he has suddenly gained is due to his strong stand against Modi and BJP."
“Going forward we will definitely have an upper hand in an alliance with any national party. But, there is no political advantage for us in aligning with BJP, when we have strongly established a front with Congress and the Left parties as a step towards the next Lok Sabha polls," the leader added.
Observers believe that the verdict will erase the blot on the DMK, allowing political parties in Tamil Nadu to once again drift towards the state’s principal opposition party.
Ramu Manivannan, professor and head of the department of politics and public administration, University of Madras said, “The baton is in the hands of Stalin and he will have a window of opportunity."