Madurai: 2G spectrum scam, billed by the opposition parties as the single biggest issue in the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, appears to have taken a backseat in the high-voltage election campaign.
After raking up the 2G scam, which they termed as a "Himalayan Scam", principal opposition AIADMK and its alliance partner, DMDK, have now virtually dumped the 2G issue and have reverted back to their good-old topic of targeting the DMK’s first family and its "misrule".
Both AIADMK and DMDK, the second largest party in the AIADMK camp, are now targeting Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, his family and the businesses owned by the first family.
Only Left parties and BJP, which is contesting alone, still remember the 2G spectrum scam which the CBI is investigating now and arrested former Telecom Minister A Raja for his alleged involvement in the scam.
When Jayalalithaa started her campaign from the Temple Town of Srirangam, from where she is contesting this election, she made the 2G scam, which the CAG says had cost the country's exchequer Rs 1.76 lakh crore, the major issue of the opposition alliance's poll plank.
But, two weeks down the line she just mentions the 2G spectrum in passing in her poll campaign. Instead, she devotes all her time in taking potshots at the DMK chief, his family and the "rise of rowdyism" during the past five years.
Campaigning in the southern districts for the past five days, Jayalalithaa concentrated on local issues and promised people of better law and order and a "better future" if her party is voted to power.
Besides, she also talks about the local issues, but the 2G scam comes only as a passing remark.
Political observers feel this could be a concerted decision by Jayalalithaa as she feels the 2G spectrum issue might not impress the people as she had expected. So, they say, she has started targeting her arch-rival DMK.
Irrespective of the place she goes, Jayalalithaa begins her speech by asking the people to "throw the family-centered DMK" Government out of power and "help liberate" Tamil Nadu from a group of rowdies.
"Power cuts for several hours is the only achievement of the DMK Government. To get freedom for Tamil Nadu from the Karunanidhi's family rule, to free Tamil Nadu from a group of rowdies and to ensure law and order in the state, please vote for the AIADMK combine," she said in identical speeches at Ramanathapuram and Theni districts.
In these speeches, she mentioned the 2G spectrum as a passing reference. But, in Madurai she took on Union Minister MK Alagiri saying that she will reopen the Ta. Kirutinan murder case and the Dinakaran attack case if she was voted to power. Alagiri was acquitted in the murder case.
Vijayakant also skipped the 2G spectrum issue during his campaigning in southern districts and preferred to tear into the DMK's first family. He was very critical of television channels Sun and Kalaignar owned by Kalanidhi Maran and the DMK's first family.
He also claimed that Karunanidhi was acting against the principles and the ideals of Periyar and late CN Annadurai. Not only here, Vijayakant has been taking potshots against Karunanidhi and his family in every part of the state.
"Karunanidhi and his family have started almost six channels in the past 3 years. Where did they get the money from?" he asks.