December 21 is a big day for both the Dravidian majors in Tamil Nadu, where coincidences at times decide on the political happenings. It will be a crucial day for the DMK as a special CBI court in Delhi is expected to pronounce its verdict in one of the biggest scams in India—the 2G spectrum case.
The voters in RK Nagar will be at the polling booths to elect their new MLA when the verdict is pronounced around 10.30 am. Political observers feel that the judgement might alter the voting pattern given the fact that the corruption tag on the opposition party has still not vanished even after it lost three elections—2011, 2014 and 2016.
The notorious spectrum allocation case involves DMK's former telecom minister A. Raja and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi. Both Raja and Kanimozhi are currently out on bail. Both the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate have filed two separate cases and the final arguments in the case were concluded on April 26 this year. The CBI in its charge sheet had claimed that Raja was biased in allocating 2G spectrum licences to the telecom companies, causing a loss of over Rs 36,000 crore to the exchequer.
Apart from this, the CBI had in its charge sheet traced the money trail to prove that the DMK received kickbacks for allocating air waves. It said that Rs 200 crore was transferred from DB group to Kalaignar TV, owned by the DMK, as kickbacks in turn for allocation of the spectrum air waves.
The ED had filed a separate case alleging money laundering and conspiracy among Raja, Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV MD Sarath Reddy and Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal.
"I am not a judge. Let us wait for the judgement on December 21. I have faith in judiciary," said Raja. Kanimozhi, too, said she would wait till the judgment was out. The case was heard by special CBI court judge O.P. Saini and the verdict is all set to be pronounced on December 21, a crucial date which will see DMK's working president M.K. Stalin's organisational capacity as the party leader.
RK Nagar is considered the bastion of AIADMK and the party has won at least a dozen times from this constituency. In 2015, after being acquitted in a wealth case, Jayalalithaa chose to contest here as it would surely give her a big victory. However, in the 2016 elections, Jayalalithaa, despite being the most charismatic leader in the state, managed to win with a margin of only 39,500 votes.
In April this year, when the constituency went for bypolls after the death of Jayalalithaa, T.T.V. Dhinakaran was more confident of winning the constituency as the official faction of the AIADMK was with him. Madhusoodhanan, a leader from the Panneerselvam faction, who hails from the same constituency and had won from there twice, was trailing even in the campaign.
This time, Madhusoodhanan is the candidate of the united AIADMK and the party has also got its two-leaves symbol. The DMK has fielded Maruthu Ganesh, who had contested in April, too. However, there are at least 145 candidates in the fray including big names like Dhinakaran, Madhusoodhanan, Marudhu ganesh, actor Vishal and Jayalalithaa's nephew Deepa Jayakumar.
While Vishal's nomination has witnessed oppositions from within the film fraternity, Deepa has filed the nominations, say sources, just for the sake of it. Dhinakaran is unlikely to get back the hat symbol from the Election Commission. The symbol was allotted to him by the same ECI in April and had worked well for him then.
The contest, as of now, is between the two-leaves and and the rising sun. While the election heat is high in North Chennai, all eyes are on the CBI court and its expected judgement on 2G scam case.