Kalaignar TV now fights to clear its name

April 25th, 2011 - 10:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, April 25 (IANS) Kalaignar TV, the television channel born after a fight within the family of DMK chief and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, the “first family” of Tamil Nadu politics, is now fighting to clear its name and the names of its promoters.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Monday named Kanimozhi, Karunanidhi’s daughter and Rajya Sabha MP, as a co-conspirator in the case involving the award of second generation (2G) phone spectrum.

In its second supplementary charge sheet filed in a special court in New Delhi, the CBI also named as co-accused Sharad Kumar, managing director of Kalaignar TV.

“I don’t want to comment now. I am not even a director in Kalaignar TV,” Kanimozhi told IANS when asked to comment on the CBI move.

The Rs.10-crore Kalaignar TV, launched in June 2007 and promoted by Karunanidhi’s second wife M.K. Dayalu Ammal and his daughter by third wife Rajathi, came under CBI scanner for receiving Rs.214 crore from Cineyug Films, which is connected to Shahid Usman Balwa of Swan Telecom.

While Dayalu owns 60 percent stake in the company’s equity, the balance 40 percent is equally shared between Kanimozhi and Kumar.

Dayalu is the mother of Tamil Nadu’s Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and union Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister M.K.Alagiri.

The Karunanidhi family promoted the company after they fell apart with the Maran brothers - Kalanithi Maran and Dayanidhi Maran, sons of late DMK leader Murasoli Maran, who owned the huge Sun TV network and several print publications.

Though the Marans later patched up with the Karunanidhi family, the latter decided to continue with the Kalaignar TV, which runs channels for general entertainment, music, children, comedy and news.

According to Kanimozhi, the day-to-day activities of the channel are managed by Kumar.

Early this year, the CBI raided Kalaignar TV office located in the same building that houses the DMK headquarters. The raid was in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Subsequently, the CBI also questioned Kanimozhi and Dayalu at the Kalaignar TV office.

Kalaignar TV claimed that Cineyug gave the money as advance towards the acquisition of stakes in the company in 2009.

“Owing to the differences in valuation of the shares of two companies, a sum of Rs.200 crore received till August 2009 was considered as a loan and was paid back by Kalaignar TV along with an interest of Rs.31 crore,” Kumar had said in a statement earlier.

He also said the transaction was reported to the income tax department and the relevant tax had been paid.

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