New Delhi: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to the Gopalapuram residence of ailing DMK Chief M Karunanidhi, the BJP has signalled unequivocally that it is open to doing business with the DMK. But will the upcoming verdict in the 2G spectrum allocation cast a spanner in the works — especially because Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi is an accused and former DMK Telecom Minister A Raja is the main accused?
An incriminating verdict will not be an impediment to a potential DMK-BJP alliance says Tamil Nadu BJP spokesperson Narayanan Thirupathy. Speaking on FaceOff at on Monday night, Thirupathy said, “A guilty verdict is against individuals not against the party. DMK as a party will continue to flourish even if Raja and Kanimozhi are found guilty. If Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are convicted in the National Herald case, it doesn’t mean the Congress as a party will be finished. Verdicts are always against individuals not against political parties.”
Although this flies in the face of the BJP’s stated objective of ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ it seems to have given away the BJP’s new strategy in Tamil Nadu. Till some time back the BJP was even planning to induct the AIADMK into the NDA and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers. But now those plans have been laid to rest. At least for the time being.
Also on the show, DMK spokesperson A Saravanan welcomed the BJP spokesperson’s remarks seconding his hypothesis of ‘individuals are guilty as opposed to institutions.”
On Tuesday, there was news that the DMK has cancelled its anit-demonetisation protests in at least eight districts which were hit by rain. Even though the party has officially blamed it on the rains, it seems like the DMK is already watering down its oppositon to DeMo. This is a big blow to the combined opposition’s protests slated for November 8, which they intend to mark as ‘Black Day’.
The DMK was one of the big regional parties after the then Samata party to join the NDA and become part of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government from 1999 to 2004. The party walked out of the NDA to stitch together a rainbow coalition which swept Tamil Nadu 39-0 in the 2004 general elections. This clean sweep explained why Karunanidhi had extraordinary heft in UPA 1.
Privately, DMK leaders will also confess they felt let down by the Congress in their handling of the 2G scam. They feel like DMK leaders were the only ones hung out to dry when it should have been the collective responsibility of the Cabinet. “A known evil is better than an unknown good,” is how a DMK leader put to me when asked about a potential DMK-BJP alliance in the run up to 2019.
The winds of change are once again blowing, from the South upwards.