Economy

Dayanidhi Maran resigns from Cabinet

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Mr Dayanidhi Maran… Another 2G casualty

CBI to quiz him on role in Aircel sale to Maxis



The Textiles Minister, Mr Dayanidhi Maran, on Thursday resigned from the Union Cabinet. The move came just a day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) made allegations against his role in the 2G spectrum scam before the Supreme Court.

Mr Maran put in his papers after a noon meeting of the Cabinet.

Earlier, in the day, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is learnt to have told the leader of the DMK in Parliament, Mr T. R. Baalu, that retaining Mr Maran in the Cabinet was untenable in the light of the latest CBI allegations.

Mr Baalu then apparently passed on the message to the DMK chief, Mr M. Karunanidhi, who, in turn, is reported to have directed Mr Maran to resign. Mr Karunanidhi, however, denied reports of him having forced Mr Maran to resign.

Mr Maran, sources said, looked tense on arriving at the Cabinet meeting, where he recused himself briefly while the issue of FM channel licences was being discussed. He apparently cited conflict of interest arising from his brother, Mr Kalanidhi Maran's stakes in this business.

While Mr Maran's exit has been in the works for the last many weeks, the decisive moment proved to be the CBI's status report filed before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The agency alleged that Mr Maran, during his earlier tenure as Telecom Minister, had delayed the award of 2G spectrum licences to Aircel.

The delay, in turn, forced Aircel's promoter, Mr C. Sivasankaran, to sell his controlling stake to the Maxis Group, owned by a Malaysia-based businessman, Mr T. Ananda Krishnan, in 2006. Subsequently, Aircel managed to get a 2G licence, with the allegation being that as a quid pro quo, Maxis made investments in the Sun group owned by Mr Dayanidhi Maran's brother.

The CBI is expected to interrogate Mr Maran soon in this connection. Mr Maran's position has been made worse by Mr Sivasankaran's reported testimony before the CBI of his having been ‘forced' to sell Aircel to Maxis. Mr Maran has denied these charges.

THIRD DMK CASUALTY

Mr Maran is the third casualty for the DMK in the 2G scam, the others being the former Telecom Minister, Mr A. Raja, and Mr Karunanidhi's daughter and DMK Member of Parliament, Ms Kanimozhi. The latter two are currently lodged at Tihar Jail in New Delhi.

‘Long overdue'

Meanwhile, opposition parties, BJP and AIADMK, termed Mr Maran's resignation as “long overdue”, while the CPI said it was “too late” and said now it is for the Prime Minister to give an explanation to the people and Parliament.

The BJP demanded the resignation of the Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, also alleging that “the 2G spectrum scam could not have occurred had the Finance Ministry (then headed by Mr Chidambaram) not changed its stand on the issue of auctioning radio waves.”

Published on July 07, 2011

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