DMK leader Dayanidhi Maran’s days in the union cabinet seem to be numbered, with the joint parliamentary committee set to question him and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) focusing on his role as telecom minister during 2004-2007.
The question, however, is whether Maran will fade away when the next cabinet reshuffle takes place, or will he step down on his own as he did once earlier.
With the corruption issue haunting the UPA government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is under pressure to rejig his cabinet. But the change that was expected in mid-June may now get delayed due to the after-effects of the Baba Ramdev-Anna Hazare movements.
Singh, however, did not disclose on Monday whether he had sought Maran’s resignation, when the DMK leader met him recently to give his version of the controversy over his decisions and the role he allegedly played in the Aircel-Maxis deal. He said the law enforcement agencies were looking into the affair.
The CBI is likely to file an FIR in the next few weeks after confirming the allegations levelled by former Aircel owner C Sivasankaran against Maran.
If Maran goes, he will be the second DMK leader after A Raja to exit the cabinet over the telecom scam.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi's daughter, Kanimozhi, is also in jail for her involvement in the scam.
Interestingly, although Karunanidhi openly fumed over his daughter's going to jail and even blamed the Congress, he has not so far commented on the Maran issue.
But on Tuesday, when CBI director AP Singh was briefing the joint parliamentary committee on the controversial decisions taken during the tenure of different telecom ministers, DMK member TR Baalu intervened to tell him not to mention any names.