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Did Maran's rise scare the DMK bosses? Tell us

May 14, 2007

What started out as justĀ an opinion poll first took three lives and has now cost one of the country's youngest ministers his job.

Here's what happened: An opinion poll in a newspaper owned by Dayanidhi Maran's brother Kalanidhi said people favoured younger son M K Stalin as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's political heir. Elder son M K Azhagiri garnered just two per cent of the votes, while 'others' got 22 per cent. Protestors claiming to be Azhagiri's supporters set the newspaper office on fire, killing three people.

Two days later, Dayanidhi was conspicuous by his absence at a function felicitating his granduncle Karunanidhi. And then on Sunday, the DMK decided to force the central government to sack Maran.

Was Maran really trying to instigate a split between Stalin and Azhagiri and hence the party's supporters? Or was it the sudden and meteoric rise of Maran -- remember, the 41-year-old made for a dynamic Union minister in the very first opportunity he got -- that has caused envy within the DMK and resulted in him being sidelined? Tell us.



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