Away from the almost mutual admiration society between Pranab da and Karunanidhi and the colourful welcome and grand feast hosted in the UPA Presidential nominee's honour on Saturday, a controversy has erupted over the start of the former Union Finance Minister's campaign in Chennai.
Cut to the mutual animosity between the ruling AIADMK and the UPA ally, the DMK. As both sides, are quite expectedly, backing different Presidential candidates, the sparks are already flying.
Now, there could be a reason why Karunanidhi chose his C.I.T Colony residence over his Gopalapuram home, to meet Defence Minister A.K. Antony, who was the emissary for the initial talks between the UPA and its allies down South and the reception for Pranab Mukherjee. C.I.T Colony is his daughter Kanimozhi's home. And the doting father probably wanted her to be present and inevitably bask in the national limelight.
The AIADMK was quick to cry foul. "How can a Presidential candidate who should be above politics visit the home of a 2G accused?" This prompted the DMK to hit back, citing the disproportionate assets case against the Chief Minister and how P.A. Sangma met her and sought her support for his Presidential race.
To be fair to both sides, no one has been convicted and the trial is still on. Even under the Representation Of People Act, a disqualification to contest arises only after a conviction and a sentence to imprisonment for more than 2 years. Jayalalithaa has been acquitted in 11 cases already and this is the last legal hurdle. By that presumption of innocence, meeting persons accused of offences is not out of line, as long as the visitor is not in a position to influence the outcome of that trial. Pranab Mukherjee has already resigned from his post as Finance Minister and is still a nominee for the top job at Rashrapati Bhavan. Sangma too is on the same pedestal. It's not the same as being the President! But then politics is not always about logic!