Marans future in Cabinet uncertain

Written by Nistula Hebbar | Nistula Hebbar | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 9 2011, 02:03am hrs
Textile minister Dayanidhi Maran may yet be the next DMK scalp to be claimed in the current Cabinet. Not only does Marans name appear in the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) list of witnesses on the 2G scam, his position could become more untenable with Cabinet sercretarys letter to ministers asking them for details of business interests held by their relatives. This has reportedly been prompted by Marans alleged involvement in the Aircel-Maxis deal.

While rumours were rife the whole day that Maran would be asked to quit soon, the textile minister reached Delhi and has reportedly been waiting to clarify his position, yet again, to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The DMK is convinced that the Congress has decided to get rid of Maran before the next Cabinet reshuffle, said a top source in the party.

Maran has taken heart from the fact that the PM has not granted him an audience yet. If he had to quit, he would have been given an appointment immediately, said a source in the government.

Things, however, are not rosy, for either Maran or the DMK in Delhi. P C Chacko, chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) looking into the 2G spectrum scam, said on Tuesday that all telecom ministers between 1998 and 2009, including Maran, Raja and Arun Shourie, would be summoned. Even before the witness list was prepared, we were sure that telecom ministers between 1998 and 2009 would be summoned, he said.

Significantly, in todays deposition by CBI chief AP Singh, while DMK MP TR Baalu tried hard to keep Marans name out of the deposition, asking that no names be named, a few members did ask for a short briefing on the ongoing CBI probe into the Aircel-Maxis deal.

Sources say that the next few days will be sticky for Maran, depending on the probe and the possibility that he may be questioned.