Phone call to TN home secy sealed Maran’s fate

Updated on May 15, 2007 04:53 AM IST
Maran's threat to go to Kalam over Dinakaran arson led Karunanidhi to act against him, reports Shekhar Iyer.
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None | ByShekhar Iyer, New Delhi

A telephone call Dayanidhi Maran made to a top Tamil Nadu official soon after the May 9 arson at his family-owned Dinakaran’s office in Madurai apparently upset his DMK boss M Karunanidhi so much that he wanted Maran out of the union cabinet.

Maran rang the Tamil Nadu home secretary and “threatened” to petition President APJ Abdul Kalam if the “real culprits” responsible for the arson were not arrested. Three people were killed in the fire.

Karunanidhi’s special emissary Arcot Veerasamy informed PM Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi about Maran’s call on Monday. A few hours after the meeting, Singh accepted Maran’s resignation and forwarded it to the president.

After the Dinakaran fire, Maran’s elder brother Kalanidhi had said the family would launch a campaign against the state government till the killers were arrested. Karunanidhi, who holds the home portfolio, apparently took these steps as a challenge to his authority.

Supporters of Karunanidhi’s son MK Azhagiri attacked Dinakaran’s office after it carried a survey showing massive support for Azhagiri’s brother MK Stalin as Karunanidhi’s successor.

Sources close to Maran said the former minister did speak to the home secretary but denied he had threatened to go to Kalam. “I am shocked by this allegation,” a source quoted Dayanidhi as saying .

Veerasamy is also learnt to have given the PM a note from Karunanidhi recommending Environment Minister A Raja for Maran’s job.

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