The DMK party is pulling out of the UPA government at the center led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Congress is the dominant party in the United Progressive Alliance, which besides the DMK also includes the All India Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, National Conference and a bunch of smaller players.
The DMK has 18 seats in Lok Sabha and six ministerships in the Central Cabinet.
DMK Chief Karunanidhi’s son M.K.Azhagiri and grandnephew Dayanidhi Maran are both in the Cabinet.
Despite quitting the UPA, the DMK promised issue-based support for the UPA Government.
Issue-based support in politics usually means holding the Damocles sword on your rival’s head.
Why the Break?
There has been talk that DMK’s break with Congress centered around seat-sharing for the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly polls.
It seems the DMK offered 60 seats to its Congress partner, which sought 63 seats.
The three-seats difference doesn’t look like a big deal to us.
We think the real reason is the multi-billion dollar telecom corruption scandal that has rocked India in recent months.
Former Telecom Minister A.Raja, under whose watch the mega-scandal erupted, is a DMK member of Parliament.
Raja has recently been arrested and is currently cooling his heels in Tihar jail.
India’s investigative agency CBI is probing the scandal and recent disclosures about huge transfers of money after the telecom spectrum allotment have cast the DMK in a poor light.
The DMK’s decision to quit the UPA government is most likely a pressure tactic to slow down the investigation into the 2G telecom scandal.
DMK chief Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi is likely to be questioned by the CBI in the near future as she is a stakeholder in the Kalaignar TV channel which received money from some of the beneficiaries of the telecom spectrum award.
Unfortunately, India’s police and investigative agencies do not enjoy the autonomy that the police or FBI in the U.S. possess. And it’s possible that the investigations may be scuttled by the politicians who fear the outcome of the probe.