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Maran held on till the end

delhi Updated: Jul 08, 2011 01:43 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times
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Textile minister Dayanidhi Maran met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after a Cabinet meeting and tendered his resignation after a word with DMK chief M Karunanidhi. Till the last minute, he tried to hold on to his position but the message from the PM was clear, the DMK insiders said.

There was no immediate official word about his resignation from the PMO or the office of President Pratibha Patil.

One version was that the PM indicated his mind to DMK’s parliamanetary party leader TR Baalu on Thursday morning. He wanted the message should be conveyed to party chief M Karunanidhi.

Baalu, got in touch with Karunanidhi, who in turn asked Maran to put in his papers. Maran continued to hold that he was not guilty at all.

When he turned up for the Cabinet meeting on Thursday, he appeared "downcast". Later, he told a colleague that he was going to quit soon after.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/08_07_11-metro8.jpg

Maran, who was silent throughout the hour-long meeting chaired by the PM, however, left the meeting for a brief period when the issue of allowing Phase 3 of FM channels came up.

He said he was leaving because there was a “conflict of interest”, alluding to his family-owned Sun TV empire running FM channels in several languages. After the Cabinet meeting, Maran went home where he apparently spoke to Karunanidhi who “advised” him to put in his papers, DMK insiders said. Maran went back to the PM's office in his personal car, and submitted his resignation.

The minister’s trouble began over his alleged involvement in Aircel-Maxis deal.

On June 30, Maran called on the PM, to give his version of events. But it triggered a speculation that he could be dropped from the Cabinet.

Things changed fast after the CBI filed a status report in the SC in the 2G case. The probe agency said Maran faced the charge of “forcing” Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel.

The resignation, of course, failed to satisfy Opposition.