An immediate threat to the UPA government from the DMK may have been averted by keeping out Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal from the second charge-sheet in the 2G spectrum case.
But the big question is can 86-year-old Karunanidhi bear to see his dear daughter Kanimozhi being sent to Tihar jail when she appears before the special CBI judge on May 6.
Kanimozhi was named as a co-conspirator along with ex-Telecom Minister A Raja for seeking bribe money to be paid the first DMK family-owned TV channel, Kalaignar TV.
Even as the Congress is cocksure that the DMK cannot pose any threat to the UPA coalition in the wake of Kanimozhi being made an accused in the 2G case, Karunanidhi is said to be very upset that the Centre has put his daughter in the dock.
In fact, Karunanidhi had a telling statement issued by the DMK late Monday. It said: “The issue of questioning of Kanimozhi and Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu had been made a publicity exercise of gargantuan proportions…. Even after it had been proved in a transparent manner that the Rs 200 crore loan given by a firm (DB Reality to Kalaingar TV) was returned with interest and that there was nothing hanky panky and no conspiracy, Dayalu and Kanimozhi were questioned (by CBI).”
True, tension had eased in the DMK after the CBI kept out Dayalu Ammal, who holds 60 per cent share in Kalaignar TV, which allegedly got Rs 200 crore from the 2G scam beneficiaries.
Also, Dayalu’s son, Union minister M K Alagiri, who was very upset by reports that his mother would be named as an accused, quietened down. Earlier, he had wondered loudly to his aides, “why should I continue if mother is made an accused in the 2G case.”
But Karunanidhi surprised his party leaders by calling an emergency meeting of his party’s executive on Wednesday after he learnt that Kanimozhi was in deep trouble though his wife Dayalu was out of it for now.
Karunanidhi is worried that the special CBI judge who has denied bail to other scam accused could do the same to his daughter when she appears before the special court on May 6. In case, she is unable to get an easy bail, tension in the party might re-surface. Proceedings in the Delhi High Court, where appeal for bail of other 2G accused are coming up, would be keenly watched.
The Congress’ calculation is that the DMK cannot do anything till May 13 when the results of the Tamil Nadu assembly polls are declared. The DMK had contested only 119 seats leaving the rest to its alliance partners, the largest chunk of 63 to the Congress. Therefore, the DMK may need the Congress’ help to form the next government. If it loses power, it is all the more the DMK needs a foothold in power in Delhi.
But, will the DMK being the third largest constitutent of UPA after the Congress and Trinamool Congress and having 18 MP in the Lok Sabha, just wait and watch Kanimozhi being sent to jail?
Karunanidhi is known to already suffer from guilt. He didn’t do much for Kanimozhi. In fact, for many years, he had not acknowledged his marriage with her mother, Rajathi Ammal.
With his first wife Dayalu in a safe position, Rajathi is bound to mount pressure on Karunanidhi to save their daughter from the law. It’s then the trouble for the UPA could really begin.