Tamil Nadu poll debacle: Congress mouthpiece blames DMK

DMKNew Delhi:  A split has been averted with the DMK deciding to stay with the Congress at the Centre despite an obvious strain in ties after the arrest of top DMK leaders Kanimozhi and A Raja in the 2G scam. But an article in the Congress mouthpiece Sandesh has now blamed its southern alliance partner indirectly for the poll drubbing in the recent-held Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.

The editorial said that the results in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were affected by 2G scam and Congress must not lose its vote bank due to mistakes of coalition partners.

The 2G scam led to much tension between the alliance partners – so much so that it led to speculation that the friendship may have reached a breaking point. But, at a meeting presided over by DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Friday, the party put all speculation to rest that it may pull out of the UPA government.

“The spectrum issue has been exaggerated by certain selfish forces. We don’t have any problem with the Congress,” Mr Karunanidhi said after the meeting.

The DMK has six members in the Union Council of Ministers.

Two senior DMK leaders have been jailed in connection with the 2G scam, including Mr Karunanidhi’s daughter, Kanimozhi. The same telecom scam has also loomed over Mr Karunanidhi’s nephew, Dayanidhi Maran, who has been serving as Textiles Minister. Recent investigations by the CBI pointed to financial misconduct by Mr Maran, when he served earlier as Telecom Minister, had built pressure on him to resign.

The DMK also condemned the CBI for linking the 2G scam to Kalaignar TV transactions and said it will continue to fight the charges against its top leaders ‘legally’.

In Delhi, the Supreme Court is considering Kanimozhi’s application for bail. It was rejected by the Delhi High Court which cited her “political clout” and ability to influence witnesses as a major concern.

Mr Karunanidhi’s resentment with the Congress has been publicly expressed since his daughter was arrested on May 20 for accepting a bribe along with A Raja, who like her is now in Tihar Jail. Mr Raja who is also from the DMK was Telecom Minister till he resigned in November last year.

The CBI has charged Kanimozhi with accepting Rs. 214 crore as a bribe in the 2G scam which was allegedly masterminded by Mr Raja. The money was deposited with Kalaignar TV in Chennai, which is owned by Kanimozhi, her stepmother, and Sharad Kumar, who is also in jail.

The tension between the Congress and the DMK has also been created by the disastrous results of their alliance in the recent Tamil Nadu election. The Congress bullied the DMK into ceding a hefty amount of seats. The DMK went on to deliver one if its worst performances. The Congress did not fare well either.

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