Saturday, May 14, 2011

Tamil Nadu: Will 2G scam cost DMK big?

New Delhi:  The issue of corruption has hurt the DMK in Tamil Nadu  - the 2G scam, which has tainted the party's First Family, seems to have nudged voters towards Jayalalithaa, who heads the rival AIADMK.

Early rounds of counting show Jayalalithaa and her allies firmly ahead. Analysts says Jayalalithaa on her own is likely to hit the half-way mark of 118.

Jayalalithaa's AIADMK is contesting 160 seats. Among her allies, the most important one will be actor Vijaykanth's DMDK, which is strong in the northern part of the state. Analysts say that these elections have revealed a "changed Jayalalithaa" who is more accommodating to the demands of her partners. That new side is prompted no doubt by the political reality that bestows a new indispensability to parties like the DMDK.

The DMK is contesting 119 seats with 63 allotted to its partner, the Congress. The scam  -allegedly orchestrated by DMK leader A Raja when he was Telecom Minister - has led investigators to the DMK's front door in recent week. Party chief M Karunanidhi's daughter, M Kanimozhi, has been accused of accepting a 214-crore bribe along with Mr Raja. Tomorrow, a court in Delhi will decide whether she should go to jail.  
  • The impact of the 2G scam on the DMK will resonate loudly at the Centre - where a series of corruption scams have dented the credibility of the ruling UPA and its leader, the Congress party. Politicians say the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu will prove whether the issue of corruption has indeed become the public's main concern across the country.

In Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa focused throughout her campaign on targeting the DMK for its entanglement with the 2G scam. 

The election in the state was also referred to as a mixi-grinder poll - with the DMK and Jayalalithaa promising a slate of freebies to voters ranging from kitchen appliances to mineral water. 

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