The latest Chidambaram-Mukherjee-2G spectrum imbroglio’s Tamil Nadu angle has several secrets. Chidambaram’s virtual political isolation is the cause of a political pot-pourri of events whose ingredients are intriguing, to say the least. The continued incarceration of former telecom minister A Raja and female political fillip Kanimozhi apparently is the handiwork of another former minister from the DMK Dayanidhi Maran. Maran has been accused of serious wrongdoing in the 2G spectrum scam and its offshoot the Aircel-Sivasankaran-Malaysia-tycoon-link. After Dayanidhi Maran’s 2007-ouster from the post of Union Telecom Minister, Sun Network, India’s most profitable television channel group, carried a vilification campaign against his successor A Raja.
The general belief is that Karunanidhi and his elder son MK Azhagiri were miffed over the published results of an opinion poll in the Maran-owned daily Dinakaran, which had pronounced the DMK patriarch’s younger son MK Stalin a clear winner over the chances of his elder sibling his father leading to the torching of the paper’s Madurai offices and killing three employees. Soon, Karunanidhi began the Kalaignar TV channel after his epithet driving out Sun Network from the premises of the DMK headquarters and the Marans into political wilderness. The duo’s return to DMK had coincided with DMK’s unexplained thumping victory in the Tirumangalam [a Madurai suburb] assembly by-election in 2009.
J Jayalalithaa had termed the result rigged with the help of Sun Network combined with the machinations of Azhagiri. A somewhat similar result had followed during the 2009 parliamentary elections giving UPA 29 out of 40 seats. One such seat is Sivaganga held by current Union Home Minister P Chidambaram. According to reports in 2009, Chidambaram had lost.
The sizeable number of votes belonging to an opposition candidate then a recent defector from an anti-Congress party and the invalid ones had suddenly slimmed in an advantageous manner to suit Chidambaram’s victory. Chidambaram’s demand of minimum 90 seats and a share in power from the DMK in the assembly elections increased the swelling ranks of his political enemies who hate him due to his legal acumen and intellectual arrogance. Though the Congress finally got 63 in the allocation, it only ended winning 5 seats.
Amidst all this, Raja’s flunkey Sadiq Batcha had died under mysterious circumstances in March this year stymieing the Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the 2G spectrum scam. Karunanidhi, who held the home portfolio as the CM, had temporarily hushed up the matter. Batcha’s widow Reha Banu had rushed her husband found hanging from a noose at home [according to her as he was fighting for life] to Apollo Hospital after changing the attire worn during the suicide attempt on March 17 rendering it suspicious.
A Kalanidhi Maran aide Hansraj Saxena (a north Indian name adopted by a very south Indian gentleman) notorious for his brusque manners with film producer clients of Sun Network was arrested on charges of cheating, fraud and criminal breach of trust and is in prison. There are fears of Saxena’s spilling too many beans in the Aircel-Sun-Sivasankaran imbroglio. While in custody, choice details of Raja and Kanimozhi’s involvement in the 2G spectrum scam began leaking from sources close to the Maran camp to the joy of various vested interests inimical to the DMK.
Even as the Marans are trying to get out of the 2G spectrum muddle by attracting attention towards Home Minister P Chidambaram’s political eclipse through their channel, the surprising thing is the inability of Chidambaram himself using the same thing to divert attention from the Centre by neutralising the Raja rump’s political vendetta against the Marans and from other scandals plaguing the United Progressive Alliance by turning the limelight towards the contradictory contortions in the Batcha case.
Documents suggesting Harvard-returned lawyer’s cooperative attitude towards Raja are currently with the CBI. Nevertheless, the whole thing has backfired. The mutually assured destruction syndrome within the UPA in the south for the erasure of the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance as all parties are contesting separately during the ensuing state-wide local bodies’ polls has been hastened.
MK Azhagiri, Stalin, Kanimozhi and the Marans are at each other’s throats. Azhagiri has another grim prospect. According to sources Azhagiri’s acts in the Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers vastly helped AC Muthiah. Reports suggest the benefits derived by Muthiah are under the CBI microscope which can only worsen Chidambaram’s situation.
A black velvet curtain is hung in the the Nataraja temple’s sanctum sanctorum in the Tamil Nadu town called Chidambaram—signififying one part of its secret. Devotees who find nothing behind the curtain when it is moved are advised to look at its inner colour—which is red—the pigment of knowledge.
“Humanity’s ignorance is signified by the curtain’s outer blackness. The divine message that God is omnipresent is to be discerned by spotting the red inner section’s colour and the absence of form behind,” the priests say.
In the case of Chidambaram the erudite lawyer-politicians, the blackness is others’ not knowing the fact that he has no political base whatsoever. His imminent red face in national politics will signify the omnipresence of Congress leaders’ total lack of knowledge with regard to Tamil Nadu’s realpolitik reality.
By TSV Hari from Chennai