A horde of Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam party workers and members of Parliament lined up inside a special Central Bureau of Investigation court hearing the bail plea of DMK's Kanimozhi, visibly declaring support to the daughter of their premier leader.
Senior leaders TR Baalu, Tiruchi Siva and TKS Elangovan were at the Patiala House court even before she arrived to receive her.
It was a clash of sorts for party workers as the same CBI court was hearing fellow leader, A Raja's case as well. Most DMK leaders and supporters stayed clear of Raja, who himself did not make any attempts to make contact with either Kanimozhi or the other leaders. His personal aide, R K Chandolia and former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura were present in the court as well.
"It gets a little difficult to choose sides in such a scenario. Both are DMK leaders and while the party has washed its hands off Raja, we don't believe he was corrupt," a party supporter, who did not wish to be named, said outside the court.
Showing solidarity with the daughter of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, about 11 party MPs, including TKS Elangovan, TR Baalu, Tiruchi Siva, Palanimanickam and Gandhi Selvam, had come to the hearing. In addition, party supporters had flown in from Chennai last night to be present during the hearing.
Rediff.com interacted with a group of 20 people hailing from Ariyallur in Tamil Nadu. This group, one of the several groups present, had flown in independently at their own expense to show support to the party.
"Kanimozhi has been wrongly accused and so we have come to show our support. We are party supporters," said one supporter from the group, Vijaian.
When asked if they thought Kanimozhi could be arrested, another supporter, Venkateshwaran, said, "They (CBI) don't have any case against her. She has been named in their chargesheet because they could not find a proper link to build their case. In any case, why should the court not grant her bail? She will not abscond because she is the daughter of the state chief minister. Where can she hide?"
Echoing similar sentiments, party spokesperson TKS Elangovan said, "I have repeatedly stated that it was a regular business deal for which she has been accused. The CBI has no case against her."
When asked if the party was abandoning Raja after Kanimozhi's lawyer Jethmalanai's argued in court that the entire conspiracy was hatched by Raja, Elangovan said, "That is something that the lawyer, who is not from DMK, has argued. Raja's lawyer will defend him."
Party leaders remained tight-lipped and avoided questions put up by media personnel waiting outside the court.
Kanimozhi herself just spoke to the press just once -- before going inside the special court when she said, "There are so many other people named in the chargesheet. Why am only I being targetted? If everyone thinks I am an easy target, then they are wrong."
Inside the court, Kanimozhi sat patiently in her seat, looking calm and composed, as her lawyer, Ram Jethmalani argued her case. She interacted with some of the party members when they sat next to her inside the jam-packed courtroom.
Kanimozhi had appeared before the special CBI court in connection with 2G spectrum allotment scandal in which she has been named co-accused. CBI, in their chargesheet, has alleged that Kanimozhi accepted Rs 214-crore bribe along with fellow DMK leader, A Raja.