When Kanimozhi matters more than Sri Lanka for the DMK

kaunanidhi      Why did the DMK leave the the company of the Congress in March?

By the party’s own admission, it was outraged by the Congress-led UPA government’s stand at the UN Human Rights  Council on the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka.“Continuing in this government will be an injustice to the Sri Lankan Tamils,” Karunanidhi had said while unilaterally snapping the ties even as Congress tried to placate him.

Barely three months later, what takes Karunanidhi back to the Congress camp? Daughter Kanimozhi’s Rajya Sabha term has ended and she has to necessarily get back to the upper house.

And what about the Sri Lankan Tamils? And the outrage?

Well, Kanimozhi being in Parliament is extremely important for the Sri Lankan Tamils. Even they need her in the Parliament to shed tears for them.Kanimozhi has the support of only 27 votes now and she has absolutely no chance without the support of the five votes of the Congress.

A pull out on a highly emotional moral issue and an opportunistic patch-up in just three months is extraordinary even by the worst political standards in India.The DMK, Congress’ nine-year-old partner in the ruling coalition at the Centre, walked out of the alliance and consistently gave the government a hard time.

When Karunanidhi pulled out of the UPA, it was clear that the  game was political – Congress was a turning out to be a liability on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, Jayalalithaa was scoring big and emotions were running high. DMK needed to do something.

But what failed was the theory by some analysts, that the split would last all the way to the national elections. This was not new for Karunanidhi, who had practised such situations hands-on for more than six decades. He knew he could get back when the ethnic emotions cooled down.

The DMK perhaps would have preferred to wait for some more time so that the Sri Lankan memories became fainter, but Kanimozhi’s entry to Rajya Sabha cannot.

India is unlikely to face the Sri Lankan dilemma any time now, other than at the Commonwealth heads of governments meeting in November, which anyway will be less of a headache.

Sri Lanka was the least of the reasons DMK pulled out in March. It wanted to exploit the ethnic emotions through such public posturing.

The Rajya Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu were closely watched because it was the harbinger of the alliances that will play out in the Lok Sabha elections in less than a year. When AIADMK initially said it won’t support CPI’s candidature, the message was that the party will indeed go it alone; but when it finally relented, it was clear that the Left parties will be with Jayalalithaa.

But the Congress latched onto the opportunity to reach out to the DMK, whose chief and Kanimozhi’s father M Karunanidhi .

M Karunanidhi, said in a message to Congress president Sonia Gandhi from Chennai on Tuesday night, “I would like to thank you and the Congress party on behalf of the DMK and myself for supporting our candidate Kanimozhi in the upcoming Rajya Sabha elections.”

Even as the Congress sought to play down the promise of support extended to Kanimozhi, a leader said on the condition of anonymity that the party expected the DMK to reciprocate by backing crucial legislations in Parliament.

So, to hell with Sri Lanka and moral outrage. Get the Congress on your side and get Kanimozhi in first.

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