|Minister of Communications and Information Technology|
22 May 2004 – 16 May 2007
|Prime Minister||Manmohan Singh|
|Preceded by||Arun Shourie|
|Succeeded by||A. Raja|
|Member of Parliament|
June, 2004 – May, 2014
|Preceded by||Murasoli Maran|
5 December 1966 |
|Political party||Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam|
|Spouse(s)||Priya Dayanidhi Maran|
|Children||1 son and 1 daughter|
|Residence||3, First Avenue, Boat Club Road,R.A. Puram, Chennai – 600 028, Tamil Nadu|
|As of 22 September, 2006
Source: [National Informatics Centre archives]
Dayanidhi Maran (born 5 December 1966) is an Indian 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 as 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.
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' 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 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). Dayanidhi owned a discothèque named Hall Freezes Over during his early career in the 1990s, which was a very popular night spot during the times.
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 a newspaper in South India, The Hindu. The family lives in their house in Boat Club, Chennai. 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. As of 2004[update], he is an Indian rupee millionaire having declared assets of 16 million Indian rupees (approximately 360,000 US dollars).
Tenure as a MP and Central minister
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. 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. 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 ₹ 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. 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.
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. Dayanidhi is believed to have limited loyalists in the party, compared to his father, who had a large following.
|Year||Constituency||Result||Vote percentage||Opposition Candidate||Opposition Party||Opposition vote percentage|
|2004||Chennai Central||Won||61.68||N. Balaganga||AIADMK||35.52|
|2009||Chennai Central||Won||46.82||S.M.K. Mohamad Ali Jinnah||AIADMK||41.34|
|2014||Chennai Central||Lost||36.4||S. R. Vijayakumar||AIADMK||42.21|
Dinkaran attack case
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 The Sun TV office in Madurai was also attacked by the perpetrators. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
- 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.
- Maran has been charged with theft of telephone lines from BSNL. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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