Will CBI raids split Cong, DMK ties?

Chennai: The Central Bureau of Investigation's raids on Wednesday on the premises of associates of former communications minister A. Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi as part of the 2G spectrum scam probe are unlikely to create any immediate rift between the Congress and the DMK, political observers feel.

The Congress and the DMK are in an alliance at the centre and the state level.

"The two parties will part ways only when the CBI raids the premises belonging to family members of the DMK chief (M. Karunanidhi). Till then the alliance between Congress and DMK would continue," political commentator Cho Ramaswamy said.

"Now, only the residences of people close to the family members of Karunanidhi have been searched by the CBI," he said.

The CBI in Tamil Nadu searched the houses of the auditor of Karunanidhi's wife Rajathi Ammal, the mother of Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi. The residences of Raja's sister and brother in Tamil Nadu and journalist A. Kamaraj, who is close to Raja, were also searched.

The CBI also searched the office of NGO Tamil Maiyam, linked to Kanimozhi, here. The NGO is run by Jegath Gaspar Raj, a Sri Lankan Tamil who has been close to the Tamil Tigers and Raja. Raj is managing trustee of the NGO founded in July 2002.

Speaking to IANS, an AIADMK leader said: "We thought last week's CBI raids on Raja's residence were an eyewash performed under pressure from the Supreme Court."

"But today's raids are different with the kind of people whose houses were searched. The logical conclusion will be the parting of ways between the DMK and the Congress," he added.

According to him, the perception of people had turned against the DMK as they were now aware about the magnitude of the spectrum allocation scam and believed the beneficiary was the DMK party.

Cho Ramaswamy said the parting of the alliance partners, if at all it happens, would have to happen before the assembly elections next year.

The possible withdrawal of support by the DMK to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government may not affect the latter as it can get the needed support from other parties.

According to Cho Ramaswamy, the Congress may not go it alone in Tamil Nadu after the rout it suffered in the recent Bihar assembly elections.

The other view is that the Congress may cobble up an alliance on its own at the state level without disturbing the set up at the centre.

If the DMK returns to power in the assembly elections then the old partners may join hands together with perhaps the Congress getting a share of power at the state level - depending on the number of seats each party wins.

According to an AIADMK leader, with the CBI now sniffing at the money trail linked to the 2G spectrum scam, it would be difficult for any party to "buy" votes.

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