Thursday, 7 July 2011

2G scam: CBI follows as Maran exits Cabinet

2G scam: CBI follows as Maran exits Cabinet

New Delhi: A day after the CBI practically implicated Dayanidhi Maran in the 2G spectrum scam, the Textile Minister and former telecom minister on Thursday quit the Union Cabinet.

Neither being a media baron nor being Karunanidhi's grand nephew could help Maran save his Cabinet post.

The moment the CBI told the Supreme Court that it is probing the 2G case against Maran, it was clear that he had to resign, but the question was 'when'.

The answer came at the cabinet meet on Thursday morning. Sources said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh conveyed to him that his position was untenable.

Soon after the meet, Maran, who was defiant till then, went back to the PMO to hand over his resignation.

Dfending Maran, Karunanidhi said, "The Media has been ruling in India and if it wants it can defame anyone, Dayanidhi Maran is no exception".

Karunandhi also denied reports that he gave the go-ahead to Maran to resign after speaking to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday night.

"No body from the UPA or the Congress has contacted me. I did not speak to Sonia Gandhi last night," said Karunanidhi.

Despite the blow to the DMK, the Congress said ties with their Tamil Nadu allies remain strong.

"The DMK has been the alliance partner of the UPA since 2004 both at the Centre and in the state and the situation stays as such," said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewary.

Sources say that the Congress had communicated the decision to the DMK on Wednesday. Weakened by the election defeat the DMK was in no position to back its minister.

Adding to it was internal rivalry. Maran who is Karunanidhi's grand nephew has been seen as arch rival of DMK chief's daughter Kanimozhi Karunanidhi and sections within the party have been gunning for him. But the biggest winner is perhaps Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

"This is something long overdue. The Prime Minister should have made him to resign long ago," Jayalalithaa said.

"The PM has to take a call. He inducted a person despite conflict of interest. This grievance has been made, he should have known better," said BJP leader Arun Jaitley.

Jayalalithaa has already been cracking down on those connected to Maran family's Sun Network and the company stocks took a huge beating after news of Dyayanindhi's resignation.

Resigning from the Cabinet may just be the beginning of troubles for Dyaynidhi Maran. He is most likely to be questioned by the CBI in the case, and how it proceeds further could determine his political future.

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