New Delhi: Dayanidhi Maran made a dramatic
comeback to the Union Cabinet in 2009 after being forced out
following a family feud, but the re-induction proved to be
short-lived, courtesy the 2G spectrum scam.
The suave, articulate and high-profile leader at the
Centre now has the ignominy of being the second DMK minister
to step down for his alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum
His party colleague and successor in the Telecom
Ministry A Raja and his relative Kanimozhi are currently in
Tihar jail in connection with the scam.
44-year-old Maran became Textiles Minister when the
Congress-led UPA returned to power after the May 2009 general
elections, though he was then tipped to come back to his
previous ministry of Telecom.
Just two years passed and Maran was in the eye of a
storm ever since allegations surfaced that his family-owned
Sun TV Network received pay-offs from a Malaysian firm which
was alloted 2G spectrum by Maran when he was Telecom Minister
after it acquired Chennai-based Aircel.
Though Maran was on the defensive, the Opposition
parties, especially DMK`s arch rival AIADMK, led by Tamil Nadu
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, had been vociferous in
demanding his ouster from the Cabinet.
And his continuance in the Cabinet became untenable
after the CBI named him in its status report on the 2G scam.
Life came full circle for Maran, who quit the Union
Cabinet in May 2007 after the DMK decided to withdraw him from
the Union Council of Ministers following a family feud.
The feud came out into the open after his family-owned
Tamil daily `Dinakaran` published a survey on who would be
Karunanidhi`s political heir.
The survey said majority of the people wanted Stalin
to succeed Karunanidhi and showed Azhagiri in a poor light,
sparking violence in Madurai in which three employees of
the newspaper were killed.
After the incident, Karunanidhi severed ties with
Maran brothers only to patch up with them one-and-a-half-years
later after which Maran was given the party ticket to contest
from the same seat.
Maran came into prominence when the DMK suffered a
severe blow with the death of Murasoli Maran in 2003 and
Karunanidhi chose him as the heir of the late DMK leader.
Maran was thrust into the limelight in the 2004
general elections when the DMK named him as the party`s
candidate from the prestigious Central Madras constituency,
which was represented many a time by his late father Murasoli
With Maran romping home in the polls, he was made the
IT and Communications Minister in the UPA Government`s
previous tenure and was the party`s pointperson in Delhi
outshining senior leaders T R Baalu and A Raja.
Maran, who played a major role in persuading telecom
giants to set up factories in India, especially in Chennai,
shrugged shoulders with IT wizard Bill Gates and other major
industrial and IT giants.
The Harvard and Loyola-educated economics student made
friends with senior Congress leaders and was instrumental in
DMK`s victory in 2006 Assembly polls.
Until 2004, he was under the shadow of his businessman
brother Kalanidhi, who was successful in building a powerful
media empire in the South on his own.
Dayanidhi was taking care of Sumangali Cable Vision,
the cable arm of the Sun Network.