On November 14 last, six top Congress leaders met at PM Manmohan Singh’s chamber in the Parliament building. Apart from Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, home minister P Chidambaram and Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel were present.
Keeping the speaker phone on so that everyone in the room could hear Mukherjee and Chidambaram called then Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi in Chennai to get telecom minister A Raja resignation.
In Dayanidhi Maran’s case, no top Congress leader spoke to Karunanidhi directly. After the CBI submitted its status report in the SC on Wednesday, PM called HRD minister Kapil Sibal to brief him about the findings. Sibal summed up saying Maran’s continuance was untenable.
During the past three weeks Singh has refused to meet the CBI chief AP Singh even as the latter repeatedly sought an appointment. The only meeting PM seems to have held recently with an investigative body chief was with CAG on Thursday.
When Karunanidhi was first told to remove Raja, he had sought time. After a few hours Karunanidhi sent daughter Kanimozhi to bargain for a cabinet minister without portfolio for Raja. The Congress refused.
This time, PM told TR Baalu to ask Maran to go. According to a TN Congress leader, “the political context has changes. Now DMK is not in power. Also, unlike Maran, Raja enjoyed a lot of clout inside the Karunanidhi family.”