Opposition parties ask PM to explain Maran fiasco (Lead)

July 7th, 2011 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi/Chennai, July 7 (IANS) With Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran resigning Thursday, opposition parties flayed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his “inaction” so far and demanded that he explain how the DMK member remained in the cabinet for so long despite allegations of involvement in the 2G scam.

“This is no great news, we are only concerned why did the prime minister have to wait so long (to take action against him)?” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

“Why does the prime minister always condone the actions and allow tainted people to continue in the cabinet?” he asked.

“This indicates there is a lethargic attitude on the part of the prime minister. It is as if he is saying, ‘Look, 7 Race Course Road falls in way to Tihar Jail, so if you are going there, or there is a charge sheet, come and have a cup of coffee with me and then submit your resignation and go to Tihar Jail’,” he said.

The Congress, however, attempted to scoff at the criticism by saying that the BJP was in no position to lecture others.

“I don’t think opposition should be making these statements at all. Did we see a resignation from (Karnataka Chief Minister B.S.) Yeddyurappa, despite mounting and pinching evidence against him?” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.

J. Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu chief minister who heads the ruling AIADMK, the arch rivals of the DMK, said Maran’s resignation came too late.

“It was long overdue. He should have resigned long ago or the prime minister should have made him resign long ago,” Jayalalithaa told reporters in Chennai.

She also warned the Maran brothers - Kalanithi and Dayanidhi - of strict action based on the complaints received against them.

AIADMK leader V. Maitreyan said that Dayanidhi Maran should now be jailed.

“It is good that Maran has resigned now, the earlier the better. Now, the law should take its course, fast. The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) should investigate on a fast track, file a charge sheet and arrest him,” Maitreyan told IANS.

Joining the chorus, Left parties too demanded a clarification from the government on the issue.

“He should have resigned long back as the allegations were so tenable. It is for the prime minister to answer why a person with such serious allegations against him should be in the council of ministers,” Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja said.

He said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has lost its credibility.

“The UPA-2 has lost its credibility with repeatedly ministers being involved in corruption cases. The prime minister owes an explanation to the nation,” he added.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat said the series of graft charges against ministers was shameful.

“There are so many cases in which UPA government, Congress members and its partners are involved. I think it is a shame for the whole country,” she said.

Political commentator Cho Ramaswamy said in Chennai the Congress wants the DMK to quit the central alliance.

“The DMK will continue with the Congress…meanwhile, the Congress wants the DMK to quit (their alliance) on its own,” Ramaswamy told IANS.

He also added that the DMK will not shed any tears for Maran.

According to him, the party has abandoned Dayanidhi as DMK leaders believe that he was the reason for the trouble faced by party chief M. Karunanidhi’s daughter and party MP Kanmizohi and party leader and former communications minister Andimuthu Raja.

Both Kanimozhi and Raja are lodged in the Tihar Jail in Delhi in the case.

Maran submitted his resignation to the prime minister Thursday, a day after the CBI, in its report to the Supreme Court, alleged that as the communication minister from 2004-07, he sat on the licence applications of Aircel till promoter C. Sivasankaran agreed to sell it to Malaysia-based Maxis group.

Maxis allegedly bought 74 percent stake in Aircel and the company was later allotted more telecom circles to operate in.

Maxis Communications, through its subsidiary Astro, then allegedly invested around Rs.600 crore in Sun DTH belonging to the Sun TV Network, owned by Maran’s family.

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