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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Kani's 2G trouble behind flip-flop

Shekhar Iyer, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 31, 2012
First Published: 00:25 IST(31/5/2012) | Last Updated: 00:27 IST(31/5/2012)

DMK chief M Karunanidhi's flip flop over his party's support to the UPA government may be driven by his "deep anxiety" over daughter Kanimozhi's fresh problems in the 2G spectrum case. The Enforcement Directorate (ED), party sources said, is set to quiz her soon.

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On Wednesday, PM Manmohan Singh spoke to DMK leader TR Baalu after Karunanidhi lashed out at the Centre. Baalu conveyed the PM's "annoyance" to the DMK chief, who made amends by saying "it is the time of Presidential polls. So we will not create a crisis for the government. We will remain in the alliance with bitterness."

Kanimozhi, a Rajya Sabha MP, had walked out of Tihar Jail on November 29 last year after spending 193 days. She was repeatedly denied bail as she was named co-conspirator along with ex-telecom minister A Raja in the scam.

Finally, Delhi HC set her free following the Supreme Court's order in the case of five other accused. Kanimozhi had moved the high court on March 23, challenging framing of charges against her and sought her discharge.

But on May 4, ED slapped Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) charges on her, which upset Karunanidhi.

Besides Kanimozhi, four others named in the second CBI chargesheet — Sharad Kumar of Kalaignar TV, Karim Morani of Cineyug Films and Asif Balwa and Rajiv B Agarwal of Kusegaon Realty — were also summoned for questioning under PMLA. Raja, too, had been issued summons.

ED claimed a link between Raja and Kanimozhi and the beneficiaries of the 2G licences while trailing payments of R250 crore to Kalaignar TV.

Supporting the CBI's probe, ED held that Kalaignar TV had received R200 crore from Cineyug Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd. Another R50 crore was traced to Seychelles-based Shiva Group company Hitech Housing Projects Pvt Ltd. Both payments to Kalaignar TV came as unsecured loans and were returned later.

On April 29, when Defence Minister AK Antony was sent to call on Karunanidhi in Chennai to seek support for the Presidential elections, the latter had the venue shifted last minute from his official Gopalapuram residence to CIT Colony where Kanimozhi and her mother Rajathiammal live.

Though Karunanidhi did not discuss the meeting with other DMK seniors, buzz was that the ED's notice to Kanimozhi was on the top of his mind.


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