M A I N   N E W S

Maran resigns from cabinet

Dayananidhi MaranChennai, May 13
High-profile communication and IT minister Dayananidhi Maran tonight resigned from the union cabinet after the DMK decided to get him removed from it in the wake of the severe embarrassment to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi following the exposure of chinks in the party’s first family.

Sun TV, owned by Dayanidhi’s elder brother Kalanidhi Maran, reported that the union minister has sent his resignation from the cabinet.

The resignation by Maran, the 41-year-old son of the late Murasoli Maran, nephew of Karunanidhi, came under mounting demand within the party four days after Dinakaran, a daily owned by the union minister’s elder brother Kalanidhi Maran, was attacked in Madurai in which three persons lost their lives.

Earlier in the day, a meeting of DMK’s administrative committee here adopted a resolution urging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to remove Maran from the cabinet.

“As Dayananidhi Maran’s recent approach and activities have been violative of party discipline and have brought defame to the party, the administrative committee has decided to urge party president M Karunanidhi and general secretary E Anbazhagan to take necessary steps to get him removed from the Union Cabinet,” a resolution adopted at the meeting said.

The more than two-hour-long meeting also adopted another resolution by which Maran would be given a show-cause notice asking him to explain his conduct and would decide on further action against him, including regarding his primary membership, after getting his reply.

Maran, who is holidaying in Udhagamandalam (Ooty) since yesterday, was not available for comments.

The attack on Dinakaran was carried out by DMK workers owing allegiance to M K Azhagiri, elder son of Karunanidhi, after the daily carried a survey which claimed that 70 per cent of people favoured the Chief Minister’s younger son M K Stalin as his political heir while only two per cent pitched for Azhagiri.

Sources said Karunanidhi is understood to have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to drop Maran.

Madurai violence that gave an opportunity to opposition in state to question the government on law and order, also cast a shadow over celebrations to mark Karunanidhi’s completion of 50 years as a legislator in which the cream of national leadership, including the Prime Minister and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi took part on Friday.

Angered by developments in the wake of violence, Karunanidhi had reprimanded the publication of survey by Dinakaran owned by Kalanidhi Maran who also owns SUN TV group, which was seen as a direct attack on the Maran brothers.

Entire Karunanidhi family, including Stalin, Azhagiri and their sister Kanimozhi, was angry with the survey which triggered violence, sullying the party and government’s image.

Karunanidhi had said in state assembly that the survey was published by the paper despite his advice to them not to carry it.

Political observers said action against Maran was inevitable, given the fact that last week’s recent developments put Karunanidhi in bad light and partymen have been gunning for the union minister ever since.

There was also heartburn in ally PMK when the survey projected Maran in good light, giving him higher rating as union minister while union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss was given a poor rating of just two percent. This led to PMK chief Ramadoss openly criticising the survey as well as DMK.

A greenhorn in politics, Dayananidhi Maran was brought into the party just ahead of 2004 Lok Sabha elections after his father’s death in late 2003. He contested successfully from Central Madras Lok Sabha seat and was made a cabinet minister and given a plum portfolio straight away. — PTI



‘I have not betrayed DMK’

Chennai, May 13
Rejecting the charge that he had betrayed DMK, union communication and IT minister Dayanidhi Maran tonight said he was ready to quit the union cabinet and the party if it satisfied the family members of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, an apparent reference to the DMK chief’s two sons.

Maran, who is in Udgamandalam and spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before faxing his resignation to him, said in a statement that he had not “even thought of betraying Karunanidhi or the party”.

“I will not even think on those lines till I am alive. I have been brought up like that by my grandfather Karunanidhi and my father Murasoli Maran,” he said.

“I don’t want to make any more comment on this now,” he added. — PTI



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