When MK Alagiri, son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, moved to Delhi as Union Minister for Fertilisers and Chemicals, his grand-nephew Dayanidhi Maran had to adopt a low profile thanks to the rivalry in the DMK’s first family.
But Karunanidhi now thinks of Maran, who is Textiles Minister, as his trouble-shooter and not Alagiri, who prefers to spend a lot of time in Madurai rather than in the Capital. Alagiri has avoided Parliament too.
Two days ago, worried by an agitation launched by fishermen, Karunanidhi turned to Maran to stall the Marine Fisheries (Regulation and Management) Bill, 2009.
Tamil Nadu fishermen bodies had announced a stir, saying the bill restricts them from venturing beyond 12 nautical miles, while helps major Indian and foreign vessels to enter territorial waters.
Put on the mission, Maran went to Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to hand him a letter from Karunanidhi and lobbied to make him to agree to put the bill on the hold and not introduce it in the on-going session of Parliament. Pawar also agreed to call a meeting of chief ministers of coastal states before taking the next step.
Maran’s prompt intervention in the latest case could help diffuse an explosive situation in Tamil Nadu’s coastline, DMK leaders said.
Agriculture Ministry officials had put up the bill because all marine product exports to the EU from January would have to be accompanied by a “catch certificate” to ensure that over-fishing was not pursued in one of the richest fishing waters of the world.
Those close to Maran said he had adopted a low-profile but had not given up his “quick decision-making” approach.