Maran, who succeeded Shourie, refused licences to Sivasankaran’s Aircel.
Union Textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran put in his papers on Thursday (7-7-2011), yielding to his removal over the CBI’s probe into allegations that he, as telecom minister, arm twisted the promoter of mobile service provider Aircel to sell out to Malaysian telecom firm Maxis.
Maran submitted his resignation to the Prime Minister, calling on him in the afternoon just after the meeting of the Union Cabinet. This is the second time that Maran has quit the UPA government, having earlier been withdrawn from the Cabinet in 2007 following a feud with the Karunanidhi clan.
Maran’s resignation contrasts sharply with that of Raja’s. Unlike the jailed former telecom minister, who had to be removed out of the government following the comptroller and auditor-general’s damning indictment, Maran resigned without a nudge from the Congress.
Dayanidhi Maran will be questioned soon by the CBI in connection with his alleged role in coercing former Aircel chief C Sivasankaran to sell his stake to a Malaysia-based group, agency sources said on 7-7-2011Thursday.
C Sivasankaran’s Aircel applied for licenses in 10 circles nationwide in 2003. Telecom minister Arun Shourie granted 7 in March 2004. Maran, who succeeded Shourie, refused licences for remaining 3 circles.
Sivasankaran told the Central Bureau of Investigation that the Marans were in broadcast and DTH. They feared competition and therefore didn’t grant him UAS (unified access services) license
Sivasankaran sold his stake in Aircel to Maxis in 2006. “The gentleman (Siva) had been knocking at various doors, but was left with no choice but to sell his shares to a Malaysian firm,” the CBI told the Supreme Court. Maxis is owned by Lankan Tamil T Ananda Krishnan, said to be close to Maran
Within 6 months of Maxis takeover, Aircel applications were fast-tracked. Licenses were issued in December 2006, even before payments were made within 3 months, a Maxis subsidiary invested Rs 600cr in Sun DTH, owned by Dayanidhi’s brother Kalanithi
Maran will be quizzed on the allegations leveled by Sivasankaran and spectrum policy changes made during his tenure during UPA-I, the sources said.
We have to wait and see, whether Maran is guilty or not?