FDI in pharma In­ter­nal pol­i­tics forced DMK hand on re­tail de­ci­sion

Hindustan Times (Patna) - - FRONT PAGE -

NEW DELHI: The DMK's last­minute U-turn on the is­sue of FDI in multi-brand re­tail has more to do with in­ter­nal pol­i­tics than coali­tion com­pul­sions.

The long-stand­ing feud had even kept the DMK, the sec­ond­largest UPA con­stituent with 18 Lok Sabha MPs, away from the last month's Union cab­i­net reshuf­fle. Ini­tially, the south­ern party had sought re­place­ments for A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran, who had to re­sign in the wake of the 2G spec­trum scam. But it dropped the de­mand at the last moment, fol­low­ing bick­er­ing in the party's first fam­ily.

For his part, DMK pa­tri­arch M Karunanidhi has been try­ing to do a fine balancing act, and sup­port­ing the Congress on the FDI is­sue af­ter pub­licly threat­en­ing to vote against the government in Par­lia­ment is part of his ef­forts to end the dis­cord in his fam­ily.

En­sur­ing that his daugh­ter, Kan­i­mozhi, is re-elected to the Ra­jya Sabha once her term ex­pires in July next year hap­pens to be one of the DMK chief's main con­cerns. The DMK has 23 leg­is­la­tors in the 235mem­ber Tamil Nadu as­sem­bly, and would re­quire the sup­port


of Congress — which has five MLAs — as well as other par­ties to gather the 34 votes re­quired for her re-elec­tion.

Karunanidhi's hopes to rope in the DMDK — with 29 MLAs — have been be­lied be­cause its chief, Vi­jayakanth, is keen on bring­ing his brother-in-law, LK Sudhish, to the up­per house with the CPM’s help.

Karunanidhi has also minced no words while voic­ing his con­cerns on the 2G spec­trum case, in which Kan­i­mozhi and Raja are two of the main ac­cused.

Given the po­lit­i­cal com­pul­sions back home, es­pe­cially with the rul­ing AIADMK con­sol­i­dat­ing its po­si­tion, Karunanidhi has no op­tion but to go with the Congress de­spite the blow-hot blow-cold re­la­tions.

The DMK chief, who had strongly raised the con­cerns of Nadars on the FDI is­sue, even chose to ig­nore the con­se­quences of go­ing with the UPA on the mat­ter. Nadars, a pow­er­ful trad­ing com­mu­nity, con­sti­tute about 12% votes in Tamil Nadu.

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