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Last Updated: May 20, 2007 - 10:48:48 AM
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IT Minister Maran resigns from cabinet
May 13, 2007 - 11:32:16 PM
'He is the minister of such an industry which is only aiding growth and if he resigns India would suffer to a great extent,' said a representative of a leading industry lobby in New Delhi.

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[RxPG] Chennai/New Delhi, May 13 - Communications and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran resigned Sunday night from the union cabinet after his DMK party served him a notice for 'actions detrimental to the party'.

Maran, who was in the Tamil Nadu resort town of Udhagamandalam, sent his resignation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the minister's key aides told IANS in New Delhi.

'I abide by the wishes of the party. I am ready to do whatever the party wants,' Maran told local media in Udhagamandalam, where he has been staying since a controversy broke out between his family and that of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Friday.

Maran is nephew of DMK patriarch Karunanidhi.

Maran said he had not done any wrong and that he was 'grateful to the DMK'.

'I have served the people to the best of my ability, I have nothing more to say,' he said.

Maran's move followed a high-powered DMK committee's recommendation for his expulsion from the party.

He was issued a show-cause notice earlier Sunday that said his 'actions were detrimental to the party' and he should explain why he should not be expelled from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which is also part of the United Progressive Alliance - ruling in New Delhi.

The DMK administrative committee that met at its headquarters, Anna Arivalayam, in Chennai included senior leaders and Karunanidhi loyalists like K. Anbazhagan, Arcot Veerasamt and Durai Murugan.

The senior DMK leaders urged Karunanidhi to recommend to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that Maran be dropped from the cabinet, party sources said.

The party resolution authorised Karunanidhi to take action against Maran immediately in the intra-family political feud.

Predictably, the Karunanidhi loyalists did not discuss any action against the chief minister's Madurai-based son M.K. Azhagiri, whose supporters burned the Dinakaran newspaper office, killing three media employees Wednesday.

His name did not figure in the resolution that condemned the Madurai violence.

The Karunanidhi camp is blaming Dinakaran, published by minister Maran's elder brother Kalanidhi Maran, for Wednesday's violence in Madurai and demanding punishment for Maran junior for this.

After Maran's exit, Union Minister for Shipping and Surface Transport T.R. Baalu will return to being DMK pointsman within the UPA in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, Maran's ouster from the cabinet has not gone down well with the telecom industry.

Since the time he took charge of the crucial ministry, Maran had taken some major initiatives such as bringing down telecom tariffs, hiking the foreign direct investment - limit in the telecom sector to 74 percent, growth of broadband in the country and introducing policies to focus on rural connectivity.

'Maran's resignation will put brakes on the growth of this industry,' said a chief executive of a leading mobile firm who did not wish to be identified.

'He is the minister of such an industry which is only aiding growth and if he resigns India would suffer to a great extent,' said a representative of a leading industry lobby in New Delhi.

After Maran took charge of the ministry, India started adding over six million mobile telephony subscribers a month while he set a target of 500 million telephone connections by 2010.

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