On Karuna b’day, Jaya snaps cable connection
The AIADMK government delivered a blow to the DMK on its patriarch M Karunanidhi’s 88th birthday on Friday by announcing its decision to bring Tamil Nadu’s private cable TV network under state control.india Updated: Jun 04, 2011 01:32 IST
The AIADMK government delivered a blow to the DMK on its patriarch M Karunanidhi’s 88th birthday on Friday by announcing its decision to bring Tamil Nadu’s private cable TV network under state control.
More than half the network is owned by the Maran brothers — union textile minister Dayanidhi and Kalanidhi — of the DMK.
The government also announced the revival of the public sector Arasu Cable Corporation, which was blanked out by the previous regime. The Marans earn Rs900 crore of the Rs1,400-crore annual revenues from cable TV subscriptions in the state through a subsidiary of the Sun TV group owned by the family.
Outlining the policies of the Jaya government in his opening address to the assembly, governor Surjit Singh Barnala said the government would take over the cable TV operations “in public interest, without affecting local cable operators”.
Interestingly, Karunanidhi had launched the Arasu Cable Corporation in 2008 to hit at the Marans’ business when they ran foul of him. A subsequent patch-up led to the corporation being made defunct.
This is Jayalalithaa’s second attempt at bringing the cable TV business under government control. In 2006, she tried to take over the business of multi-system operators, who fed satellite TV signals to small cable TV operators. But Barnala had returned the bill, saying the subject fell under the purview of the central government. However, it was not immediately clear how the state government would go about wresting control of the cable TV business this time around.
In another jolt to the DMK, the government said an enquiry would be ordered into alleged irregularities in construction of the new R1,000-crore secretariat building in Chennai and scrapped the Kalaignar insurance scheme. Both were pet projects of the DMK.
With agency inputs