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Dayanidhi Maran on his way out of Union Cabinet
May 13, 2007 20:28 IST
Last Updated: May 13, 2007 21:52 IST
High-profile Communication and IT Minister Dayananidhi Maran was, on Sunday night, on his way out of the Union Cabinet after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam decided to get him removed from it. This is consequent to the severe embarassment to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi following the exposure of chinks in the party's first family.
The action against Maran, the 41-year-old son of 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 people lost their lives.
"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 showcause notice asking him to explain his conduct and decide after getting his reply on further action against him including regarding his primary membership.
Maran, who is holidaying in Udhagamandalam (Ooty) since Saturday, 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 that claimed that 70 percent of the people favoured the chief minister's younger son M K Stalin as his political heir while only two percent pitched for Azhagiri.
Sources said Karunanidhi is understood to have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to drop Maran.
The Madurai violence that gave an opportunity to the opposition in the state to question the government on law and order also cast a shadow over the celebrations to mark Karunanidhi's completion of 50 years as a legislator in which the cream of national leadership, including the prime minister and Sonia Gandhi took part on Friday.
Angered by the developments in the wake of violence, Karunanidhi had reprimanded the publication of the survey by Dinakaran owned by Kalanidhi Maran who also owns the SUN TV group, which was seen as a direct attack on the Maran brothers.
The entire Karunanidhi family, including Stalin, Azhagiri and their sister Kanimozhi, was angry with the survey which triggered violence sullying the party and the government's image.
Karunanidhi had said in the state assembly that the survey was published by the paper despite his advice to them not to carry it.
Political observers said the action against Maran was inevitable given the fact that last week's recent developments put Karunanidhi in bad light and the partymen were gunning for the union minister ever since.
There was also heartburn in ally PMK when the survey projected Maran in good light giving him a higher rating as union minister while the Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss was given a poor rating of two percent.
This led to PMK chief S Ramadoss openly criticising the survey and DMK.
A greenhorn in politics, Dayananidhi Maran was brought into the party just ahead of the 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 with a plum portfolio.
The high-profile young minister functioned as the DMK's pointperson at the Centre and interacted with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on behalf of Karunanidhi.
He was also seen with Karunanidhi on all important occasions including when business delegations from home and abroad met the chief minister.