Opposition criticises Karunanidhi for cable operators’ arrests

February 17th, 2008 - 9:18 pm ICT by admin  

Chennai, Feb 17 (IANS) Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu Sunday criticised the state government for arresting cable operators of the Sun TV owned by Maran siblings, Kalanidhi and Dayanidhi, the estranged nephews of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi. Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L. Ganeshan, Janata Party chief Subramaniam Swamy and All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi founder Sarath Kumar alleged that Karunanidhi was trying to stifle the commercial interests of his nephews for extraneous reasons.

“A government that tries to put down a perfectly legal business, in my opinion, is a dictatorship,” Sarath Kumar said.

The city police Saturday arrested hundreds of Sun TV cable operators.

“It is a blatant abuse, and abuse of power on the part of the Chief Minister Karunanidhi,” Vaiko said.

Sources in the ruling DMK indicated that matters came to such a pass due to conflicting interests of Stalin, believed to be the political heir of the chief minister and his elder brother M.K. Azhagiri.

Former union minister Dayanidhi Maran has alleged that the state police were trying to coerce his cable operators into opting for services of rival cable networks.

In a complaint to the police commissioner here, Dayanidhi Maran alleged that many operators of his TV network were arrested and coerced into switching over to business rivals such as Hathway cable network and Datacom Private Ltd.

He demanded immediate punitive action against the subordinates of Joint Commissioner of Police Durairaj, who reportedly arrested SCV operators.

The Maran brothers (Dayanidhi and Kalanidhi) had invited the ire of the chief minister following the publication of a survey that found Dayanidhi more popular than Karunanidhi’s elder son Azhagiri. The brouhaha resulted in the burning down of the office of Dinakaran, a newspaper owned by the Marans in Madurai, and the murder of three of its staff members.

The Maran brothers own a direct-to-home (DTH) network, Sun Direct.

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