Maran saw DMK’s downfall in 2008: Report

WikiLeaks claims that Dayanidhi Maran predicted the downfall of Dravidian party way back in 2008.

Last Updated: May 23, 2011, 13:54 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: As the DMK leadership struggles to come to terms with its electoral debacle in Tamil Nadu and Kanimozhi’s arrest in the 2G scam, reports on Monday said that the Dravidian party’s downfall was predicted by one of its top leaders way back in 2008.

According to a report published by a leading daily, which cited secret US diplomatic cables accessed by WikiLeaks, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi`s grandnephew and Member of Parliament (MP) Dayanidhi Maran had predicted the beginning of the gloomy days for his party as early as in February 2008.

As per reports, the young MP was seriously worried about DMK’s negative image and was extremely critical of its ‘Santa Clause politics’.

In a free-wheeling chat with the American Consul General in February 2008, the DMK leader admitted candidly that corruption was badly affecting the image of his party and talked about people’s growing apathy and rising anti-incumbency factor in Tamil Nadu.
On February 23, 2008, Consul General David T Hopper, in a secret cable [142702: confidential], informed the US State Department that Maran had predicted DMK and its alliance partners would lose half of their (Lok Sabha) seats in Tamil Nadu if no corrective measures are taken.

Referring to people’s growing apathy towards the Karunanidhi government, Maran endorsed the general perception that DMK is a corrupt party, by saying, “When people get into power they lose concentration and start focusing on making money.”

The cable, which was sent to the State Department by the US Embassy in New Delhi, revealed that a meeting took place between the Political Officer at the Chennai Consulate-General and Maran on February 15, 2008.

The meeting between the two was the first since Maran was sacked as the Union IT and Telecommunications Minister in May 2007, following a dispute with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Karunanidhi.

Maran, who was extremely critical of DMK’s politics of providing freebies, was quoted as telling the US official, “The problem when you come to power by promising people free TVs,” he is quoted as saying during the meeting, “is that people soon forget the TVs you gave them and then ask ‘what are you doing for me now’?”

In the secret cable, the US official reported that the estranged DMK MP, who was later reinstated in the Union Cabinet as Textiles Minister, was “very downbeat” about the United Progressive Alliance`s electoral prospects in the 15th Lok Sabha election.
Maran was of the view that the UPA was likely to face a tough time in the southern states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

He predicted that UPA’s electoral losses would stem from the failure of DMK and Congress in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu respectively. However, the DMK MP was all praise for Rahul Gandhi and argued that Congress party needed to name him as its prime ministerial candidate for the 2009 Lok Sabha election.