Countdown for the exit of second DMK nominee from the Cabinet — after A Raja — appeared imminent as textile minister Dayanidhi Maran came under the Supreme Court's scanner in the 2G Spectrum allocation scam.
The Congress core group, which met on Wednesday evening, is said to have discussed Maran’s continuance in the government after the CBI hinted at his role — as telecom minister between 2004 and 2007 — in first denying licence and later, “forcing” a Chennai-based telecom promoter to sell his stakes in Aircel to a Malaysian firm. This firm, in turn, had invested in the Maran family-controlled Sun TV.
With talk of a Cabinet reshuffle around July 10-13, the Congress is likely to convey to the DMK that Maran’s continuance in the cabinet is untenable because he figures in the CBI’s status report on the 2G scam.
“The DMK has to take a judgment call now….His continuance in the government will cause further embarrassment to UPA,” a senior Congress functionary said.
Sources in the DMK too said their leadership “is more or less prepared” for Maran’s exit because its archrival ADMK is certain to raise the pitch on the issue.
Maran has been left isolated in the DMK with no effort being made by anyone to defend him.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi is in no mood to speak up for Maran even though he is close to the family and has already indicated that Maran will defend himself. In fact, Karunanidhi is more anguished over his daughter Kanimozhi’s incarceration in Tihar jail in another 2G case.
“When he could not do anything for his daughter, how will he be bothered about Maran?” asked a DMK insider. Party leaders said they expect Maran to put in his papers before the proposed reshuffle.