Dayanidhi Maran

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Dayanidhi Maran
Thiru. Dayanidhi Maran
In office
June, 2009 – May, 2014
Preceded by Murasoli Maran
Constituency Chennai Central
Personal details
Born (1966-12-05) 5 December 1966 (age 48)
Tamil Nadu, India
Political party DMK
Spouse(s) Priya Dayanidhi Maran
Children 1 son and 1 daughter
Residence 3, First Avenue, Boad Club Road,R.A. Puram, Chennai – 600 028, Tamil Nadu
Religion Hindu
As of 22 September, 2006
Source: [National Informatics Centre archives[1]]

Dayanidhi Maran (born 5 December 1966, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India) is a politician and one of the prominent members of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party. He was elected twice as a Member of Parliament to India's Lok Sabha from Chennai Central constituency during the 2004 general elections and 2009 general elections.

During the period of 2004–2007, he served as Minister for Communications and Information Technology in the Union Cabinet. He resigned from the post following the family feud due to Dinakaran attack case in May 2007. He was deputed the Minister for Textiles in the Union Cabinet after the 2009 elections. He resigned from the position of Minister for Textiles in July 2011 following CBI enquiry as a part of 2G Spectrum scam into his alleged involvement in the Aircel-Maxis deal. Maran has been accused in various cases that include his alleged involvement in Aircel-Maxis deal, misusing ministerial powers by utilizing 323 phone connections for his family owned media network and demanding the Tatas 33.33% shares from the Tata-Rupert Murdoch DTH project.

He is the son of Late Mr. Murasoli Maran and the grandnephew of DMK president M Karunanidhi. He is the younger brother of Kalanidhi Maran, the founder and managing director of Sun Network. The Marans' vast media and entertainment empire includes Sun TV network with 20 channels and 45 FM channels, DTH service and two newspapers and four magazines apart from film production and distribution business besides stepping into aviation business through SpiceJet. He is married to Priya, and has a daughter and a son. Maran has wide exposure in the fields of media, television, cable technology, political economy and management on account of his visiting seminar and conference in various countries. Maran has interest in playing golf, cricket and tennis.

Early life[edit]

Karunanidhi family tree

Dayanidhi is the second son of ex-minister Murasoli Maran, who had been the Commerce and Industrial minister. He is also the grandnephew of DMK president and ex-chief minister of Tamil Nadu, M Karunanidhi. He is the younger brother of Kalanidhi Maran, the founder and managing director of Sun Network. The Marans' vast media and entertainment empire includes Sun TV network with 20 channels and 45 FM channels, DTH service and two newspapers and four magazines apart from film production and distribution business besides stepping into aviation business through SpiceJet.[2][3] He had his Schooling with Don Bosco, Egmore, Chennai. He received initial education in Tamil Nadu and graduated in Economics from Loyola College in Chennai. He also attended the "Owner /President Management Programme" (OPM) from Harvard Business School (USA).[4] Dayanidhi owned a discothèque named Hall Freezes Over during his early career in the 1990s, which was very a popular night spot during the times.[5]

Dayanidhi is married to Priya and the pair have a daughter named Divya and a son named Karan. Priya is an Iyengar from the family of the publishers of popular newspaper in South India, The Hindu.[5] The family lives in their house in Boat Club, Chennai.[6] Maran has wide exposure in the fields of media, television, cable technology, political economy and management on account of his visiting seminar and conference in various countries. Maran has interest in playing golf, cricket and tennis.[4] As of 2004, he is an Indian Rupee millionaire having declared assets of 16 million Indian rupees (approx. 360,000 US dollars).[4]

Tenure as a MP and Central minister[edit]

He contested from Central Chennai Constituency in Tamil Nadu as a DMK party candidate and been elected twice during the 2004 and 2009 elections as member of parliament. During the 2004 elections, his winning margin was over 134,000 votes and he received 62% of the total votes polled.[4] He was appointed as Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology on 26 May 2004. During his tenure as IT and Telecommunication Minister the call rates of mobiles and landlines were drastically reduced which in-turn influenced the growth of subscriptions.[7] During the tenure, he was instrumental in garnering a large amount of Foreign Direct Investments into Communication and Information Technology Sector. Many multinational telecom companies including Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson, Flextronics and Dell set up units in the country. His ministry introduced "One Rupee One India" plan across the country, which enabled calls across the country at a rate of 1 INR per minute. His ministry set and achieved a target of 250 million connections in Dec 2007 to December 2010, against 75 million in May 2004.[1][8][9] He resigned from the post following the family feud due to Dinakaran attack case. Both the Maran brothers were alienated from the party and the office of the family owned Sun Network, was taken off the premises of Anna Arivalayam, the head office of the DMK party. The ruling UPA government faced a no confidence motion and the DMK discarded his vote. He showed his loyalty to the party by calling a press conference and supporting the DMK and the central coalition against the motion.[5]

After a reconciliation with the family members, he got the candidature from the same constituency from the party. Following his victory, he was appointed as the Minister for Textiles during the year 2009. On 7 July 2011, Maran quit office as the CBI implicated him in the 2G Specturem Scam.[10] Dayanidhi is believed to have limited loyalists in the party, compared to his father, who had a large following.[5][9]

Elections contested[edit]

Year Constituency Result Vote percentage Opposition Candidate Opposition Party Opposition vote percentage
2004 Chennai Central Won 61.68 N. Balaganga AIADMK 35.52[11]
2009 Chennai Central Won 46.82 S.M.K. Mohamad Ali Jinnah AIADMK 41.34[12]
2014 Chennai Central Lost 36.4 N. Balaganga AIADMK 42.21[13]

Dinkaran attack case[edit]

In 2007 May, Dinakaran, the newspaper run by Kalanidhi Maran, the elder brother of Dayanidhi, ran into a controversy when it published the results of a series of opinion polls which showed M. K. Stalin, the second son of Karunandhi, having more approval (70%) than his elder brother M. K. Azhagiri (2%) as the political heir of Karunanidhi. It also showed others as 20%, possibly indicating Dayanidhi Maran and Kanimozhi. The Madurai office of Dinakaran was fire bombed by supporters of Alagiri and three employees were killed[14] The Sun TV office in Madurai was also attacked by the perpetrators.[15] A day after the incident, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi came to Chennai for felicitating Karunanidhi for 50 years in legislative assembly. Daynaidhi Maran, who usually accompanies Karunanidhi on every function, discarded the event as a mark of protest. On 13 May, the DMK administrative committee empowered Karunanidhi to remove Dayanidhi from the party. This subsequently led to his resignation from the central ministry.[16] Karunanidhi family started Kalaignar TV to counter Sun TV of the Marans that started focusing on opposition leaders who were voiceferous on Alagiri and also covering the 2G Specturm Scam on minister A Raja, the DMK minister replacing Dayanidhi in the Union IT ministry.[17] There were several attempts of reconciliation by the Marans, with two public meeting, once during Stalin's birthday in March 2008 and other during May when Karunanidhi was discharged from a Chennai hospital having been treated for neck and back pain.[18] But when the Marans went to greet Karunanidhi on his 85th birthday on 3 Jun 2008, they were made to wait for an hour before finally denying entry.[18] The family later reconciled with the efforts of Selvi, the eldest daughter of Karunanidhi. While the reason for reconciliation is not known, it was rumoured that the family reconciled to keep the third wife, Rajathi and her daughter Kanimozhi away from the family – that Kanimozhi was missing in the family reunion picture supported this argument.[19]

Controversies[edit]

  • Maran has been accused of receiving kickbacks to the tune of Rs 7 billion from Maxis Communications. In reply, he has issued a legal notice to Tehelka the news magazine which have published the report.[20]
  • According to the CBI, he mis-utilized 323 telephone connections from BSNL during his tenure as the Telecom minister, and caused the Government of India a huge loss. It is alleged that he extended these connections from his house in Boat Club, Adyar, to his brother's Sun TV channel office located in Anna Arivalayam in Teynampet. The CBI filed a FIR (First Investigation Report) against him and the Chief General Manager of BSNL, K. Bramhanathan and MP Veluswami during September 2013.[21][22][23]
  • CBI is going to start fresh probe if Dayanidhi Maran had role in Aircel/Maxis Communications deal, CBI's investigations so far have been limited to decisions taken after 2007 by Maran's successor A Raja.[24][25]
  • Maran has been accused of demanding the Tatas 33.33% shares from the Tata-Rupert Murdoch DTH project (Tata Sky) for the Sun Network. In reply, he has asked the news papers which have published the report to apologize and threatened to go to court seeking compensation of Rs. 10 million for personality damage from The New Indian Express, Dinamani and Jaya TV.[26][27]
  • In May 2007 the Tamil daily newspaper, Dinakaran, owned by his brother Kalanidhi Maran, published a survey whose results declared that 70% of the people of Tamil Nadu favoured Karunanidhi's younger son M.K. Stalin as his likely successor as against 2% for Stalin's elder brother M.K. Azhagiri. This resulted in M.K.Azhagiri's supporters burning down the office of Dinakaran in the city of Madurai that resulted in the death of 3 employees and injuries to several others. This resulted in Karunanidhi removing Maran from his position as Union Minister. The Prime Minister refused to dismiss him, and the situation was not resolved till Maran himself resigned on 13 May.[28]
  • Maran resigned from Ministry of Textiles after CBI accused Maran, a former telecom minister, of forcing the promoter of Chennai-based telecom company Aircel to sell his firm to Malaysian firm Maxis in 2006.[29]
  • Maran is accused of helping Malaysian firm Maxis Group owned by Kuala Lumpur-based business tycoon T Ananda Krishnan by forcing Chennai-based telecom promoter C Sivasankaran to sell his stake in Aircel in 2006 to Maxis. The CBI, in its statement, alleged that Maran used his power as a telecom Minister to coerce Sivasankaran. On 26 July 2012, CBI, as a part of 2G Spectrum scam, grilled Dayanidhi Maran in connection with controversial Aircel-Maxis deal, which is believed to have fetched him Rs 5.47 billion.[30][31]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Detailed Profile: Thiru Dayanidhi Maran". National Informatics Centre. 2005. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  2. ^ M.C., Rajan (27 July 2012). "Noose set to tighten for the Maran brothers as Karunanidhi looks away". India Today. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Hiscock 2007, p. 71
  4. ^ a b c d Profile on NIC "Dayanidhi Maran profile". Office of Minister for Communications & Information Technology. National Informatics Centre. 13 May 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d "The rise and fall of Dayanidhi Maran". The New Indian Express. 10 July 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2013. 
  6. ^ PMO (3 September 2011). "Declaration of assets and liabilities by members of Loksabha" (PDF). pmindia.nic. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Why India Inc loves Dayanidhi?". Ibn Live. 13 May 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Hiscock 2007, p. 78
  9. ^ a b Vaasanthi, pp. 265–6
  10. ^ "2G claims second victim; Dayanidhi Maran quits Cabinet". Deccan Herald. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  11. ^ "Statistical report on General elections, 2004 to the 14th Lok Sabha" (PDF). Election Commission of India. p. 281. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Statistical report on General elections, 2009 to the 14th Lok Sabha" (PDF). Election Commission of India. p. 124. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "Statistical report on General elections, 2014 to the 16th Lok Sabha". Election Commission of India. 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "TN: 2 killed as Dinakaran office set afire". Rediff. 9 May 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  15. ^ Phandis 2009, p. 145
  16. ^ "DMK kicks out Dayanidhi, brings in Raja as Minister". CNN-IBN. 15 May 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  17. ^ Outlook, Volume XLVIII, No. 51, p. 15
  18. ^ a b Outlook Volume XLVIII, p. 18
  19. ^ "Karuna’s Kutumbam". Indian Express. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "Hello? Who will bell this cat". Tehelka. 4 June 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "CBI registers case against Maran for ‘illegal’ phone lines". The Hindu (New Delhi). 1 October 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "Case against ex-minister Dayanidhi Maran for 'stealing' 300 phone lines". NDTV (New Delhi). 1 October 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  23. ^ "BSNL man loses pension for exposing Dayanidhi Maran's illegal telephone exchange". The Times of India. 3 Oct 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  24. ^ "2G: CBI to probe if Dayanidhi Maran had role in Aircel deal – The Economic Times". Economictimes.indiatimes.com. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  25. ^ "2G scam: Now Dayanidhi Maran under the scanner?". NDTV.com. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  26. ^ "Did not share chemistry with Dayanidhi Maran: Tata". The Times of India. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  27. ^ "Drop Dayanidhi Maran, demands Jayalalithaa". The Hindu (New Delhi). 8 April 2006. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  28. ^ "Maran quits Cabinet after DMK rap". Hindustan Times. 13 May 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  29. ^ "2G scam: CBI submits report, Dayanidhi Maran under scanner". The Times of India. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  30. ^ "CBI grills Dayanidhi Maran in Aircel-Maxis deal". The Times of India. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  31. ^ "Probe against Dayanidhi Maran in 2G scam complete, CBI tells SC". The Times of India. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 

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