Nation Politics 22 Dec 2017 Boost to DMK’s ...

Boost to DMK’s political muscle

Published Dec 22, 2017, 3:19 am IST
Updated Dec 22, 2017, 3:19 am IST
The party will once again hope to play a major role in national politics.
DMK MP Kanimozhi leaves the Patiala House court after the verdict for her connection in 2G scam, in New Delhi on Thursday. 	(Photo: PTI)
 DMK MP Kanimozhi leaves the Patiala House court after the verdict for her connection in 2G scam, in New Delhi on Thursday. (Photo: PTI)

CHENNAI: The 2G verdict absolving its leaders A Raja and Kanimozhi comes not just as a shot in the arm for the DMK, which is frantically hoping for an early poll in Tamil Nadu, but also increases its bargaining power among the national players besides allowing the BJP to court the Dravidian major ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Political observers said it was the "right time" for the BJP to look for "other avenues" in Tamil Nadu since its outing with the AIADMK led by chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam has so far been "disastrous" and brought only embarrassments rather than any political mileage.


With DMK placed at a politically advantageous position in a post-Jayalalithaa scenario, it is only obvious that the Congress will try hard to consolidate its existing alliance with the Tamil party while the BJP is likely to open up negotiations for the crucial 2019 elections that could be "wide and open" after the Congress posed a tough challenge in the recent Gujarat elections.

The DMK, which carried the 2G stigma that massively contributed to its worst-ever defeat in 2011 assembly elections and the 2014 general elections in which the party drew a blank, has now been exonerated of all "corruption charges" and has emerged as "a Christmas cake" overnight, from which everyone wants a slice. The party will once again hope to play a major role in national politics.

DMK insiders expect that the BJP, struggling to make its presence felt in Tamil Nadu, will now activate its channels to court their party for an alliance. They also point out to the "warm meeting" that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with ailing DMK chief M Karunanidhi, when he dropped in at his Gopalapuram house in an unscheduled halt during a media function in Chennai on November 6, ostensibly to wish him a speedy recovery.

The DMK leaders, however, admit that the saffron BJP is "an ideological opponent" of the DMK, but little do these things matter in politics. The DMK was part of the AB Vajpayee government from 1998 to 2003 and moved into the Congress camp subsequently. Should the DMK win the next state poll, Stalin would not mind doing business with the BJP regime at the Centre - assuming that Modi will win the next Lok Sabha election in 2019 - just to ensure he has a smooth ride and be able to carry through his development projects.

"With the 2G verdict, any inhibition on the part of a section of the BJP to woo the DMK should melt away. However, the DMK has never been this strong in recent years. Except the PMK and the DMDK almost all other parties in Tamil Nadu have rallied behind it. The BJP might need the DMK politically but the latter may have no need for the BJP", said R Kannan, who penned biographies of late C N Annadurai and M G Ramachandran.

Expressing similar sentiments, political analyst Gnani Sankaran said the 2G verdict was definitely a "major boost for the DMK" since the party was carrying the stigma of corruption for a long time. "The court verdict is definitely a moral victory. The party has now come out of the 2G stigma and now the BJP will keep open all its options including doing business with the DMK. The BJP will come to DMK once it concludes that AIADMK is a political liability", Sankaran said.

While the BJP will try and mend fences with the DMK as it has "now become clean" fresh from the 2G verdict, the Congress would walk the extra mile to keep its "long-time ally" in good humour since it would need the Dravidian party to cobble up a credible Opposition against the Narendra Modi government. 

The Congress was also quick in reacting to the 2G verdict, with party chief Rahul Gandhi rushing his Rajya Sabha team of floor leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and deputy floor leader Anand Sharma to Kanimozhi's residence to congratulate her. "Congress realises that it needs DMK if it has to win some seats in Tamil Nadu and it would never want to lose the important ally to its bitter foe, the BJP", said a senior Congress leader.

Location: India, Tamil Nadu