2G claims another minister: Maran quits, DMK crisis deepens (Evening Lead)July 7th, 2011 - 7:24 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran Thursday resigned from the union cabinet, the second DMK minister after A. Raja to do so following allegations of involvement in the 2G spectrum scam, putting a further question mark on the future of the party in India’s ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
Informed sources told IANS that Maran, 44, submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after what turned out to be his last cabinet meeting, ending speculation over his fate in a government eager to cleanse its tainted image after a series of corruption allegations.
While there was no official confirmation, sources said Manmohan Singh accepted the resignation after a brief meeting with key ministers - Pranab Mukherjee, P. Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and M. Veerappa Moily - as well as Attorney General Goolam E. Vahanvati.
The meeting was called to study the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) 2G status report that was filed in the Supreme Court Wednesday. The agency alleged that Maran forced telecom promoter C. Sivasankaran to sell his Aircel stake to the Malaysia-based Maxis group considered close to his family.
That was the proverbial nail in the coffin for Maran, the grand nephew of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi who was IT and communications minister before Raja.
Raja had quit in November 2010 and was jailed for his alleged involvement in financial irregularities in allotting second generation radio wave licences to mobile phone service providers. Another DMK leader, Karunanidhi’s daughter and MP Kanimozhi, is also in prison for allegedly conspiring with Raja.
The Maran saga was just the leverage the opposition, which said Maran misused his official position when he held the telecom portfolio in 2004-07, needed against a government already battling a credibility crisis.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was scathing.
“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 chargesheet, come and have a cup of coffee with me and then submit your resignation and go to Tihar Jail’,” mocked BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
The AIADMK was equally unimpressed as was the Left.
“This was long pending. He must have resigned long ago or the prime minister must have made him resign long ago,” Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said in Chennai.
CPI leader D. Raja agreed that the resignation had come in too late.
Had the DMK, which contributes a valuable 18 MPs to the UPA’s kitty of 262 in the 545-member Lok Sabha, become a burden the Congress could no longer carry?
The Congress was caught in a cleft stick, admitted several party leaders. It was difficult to dump the DMK, which had been with the UPA since its formation in 2004, and equally tough to continue with it amid the corruption scandals and the current, unforgiving public mood.
Officially, however, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari lashed out at the opposition.
“I think that those who on a daily basis brought out lectures of morality should really look within and introspect before opening their mouths and putting both their feet into it,” he said.
According to political commentator Cho Ramaswamy, the DMK will not shed any tears for Maran. The party has abandoned him as senior DMK leaders believe that he was the reason for the trouble faced by Kanmizohi and Raja.
Maxis had allegedly bought 74 percent stake in Aircel and the company was later allotted more telecom circles to operate in. Maxis Communication, 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.
- Maran quits as minister after 2G scam involvement (Second Lead) - Jul 07, 2011
- Opposition parties ask PM to explain Maran fiasco (Lead) - Jul 07, 2011
- Good that Maran resigned, now arrest him: AIADMK - Jul 07, 2011
- 2G claims another minister: Maran quits (Roundup) - Jul 07, 2011
- Maran resigns from cabinet (Lead) - Jul 07, 2011
- Explain Maran fiasco, opposition to PM - Jul 07, 2011
- Maran quits; opposition says too little, too late (Intro Roundup) - Jul 08, 2011
- Maran will be dropped if probe points finger - Jun 25, 2011
- 2G scam: Maran denies wrongdoing, opposition demands he quit (Roundup) - Jun 01, 2011
- Maran quits as textiles minister - Jul 07, 2011
- JPC meets CBI chief, may call Maran on 2G - Jun 07, 2011
- DMK calls high-level meeting Friday - Jun 09, 2011
- Maran in cabinet meeting, resignation not on agenda - Jul 07, 2011
- CBI raids Marans, DMK silent - Oct 10, 2011
- Learn from your mistakes, BJP advises PM - Jun 02, 2011
Tags: bharatiya janata party, central bureau of investigation, corruption allegations, credibility crisis, dayanidhi maran, dmk leader, financial irregularities, generation radio, grand nephew, kapil sibal, m karunanidhi, manmohan singh, mobile phone service, mobile phone service providers, p chidambaram, phone service providers, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, raja raja, veerappa