The whistleblower who blew the lid off the secret telephone exchange at the residence of Dayanidhi Maran connected with Sun TV, now credits 2G tainted former Union telecom minister A Raja with exposing it after the Marans were banished by DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi. “It was Raja who initiated the inquiry against the alleged allotment of 323 ISDN phone connections to former Union Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran after the Marans fell out with the DMK’s first family in 2007,” claimed C K Mathivanan, deputy general secretary of the National Federation of Telecom Employees (BSNL) Union.
A Subramani, TNN | Sep 16, 2013, 11.10 PM IST
CHENNAI: The Madras high court has ordered vigilance probe into a complaint, which alleged that former chief minister M Karunanidhi had misappropriated funds meant for the classical Tamil conference held in Coimbatore in June 2010.
Justice R Mala, before whom the direction petition of advocate B Ramesh Babu, came up for hearing on Tuesday, said expeditious inquiry should be conducted into the allegation, and that a case should be registered if commission of any cognizable offence is made out.
According to Ramesh Babu, while the then chief minister Karunanidhi claimed that a total of Rs 380 crore was spent on the conference, a later press release claimed that Rs 301 crore had been spent on the meet. Information obtained under the Right to Information Act revealed that only Rs 151.22 crore had been spent on various counts. Another RTI plea to the Tamil Development Department revealed that Rs 262.63 crore was spent on the meet.
Ramesh Babu claimed that Karunanidhi and his associates, including his daughter Kanimozhi, had misappropriated more than Rs 200 crore, and wanted vigilance inquiry into the allegations.
When the matter was taken up for hearing, state public prosecutor S Shanmugavelayutham said the government had forwarded the complaint to the DVAC for a detailed inquiry. The agency has already appointed Mohammed Ismail, deputy superintendent of police, to hold inquiry and submit a report, he said. The DSP has already commenced his inquiry, Shanmugavelayutham told the court.
A pro-Tamil Eelam public meeting, which was to be held here today and participated by JKLF leader Yasin Malik among others, was banned by police after the organisers put up banners carrying pictures of slain LTTE chief V Prabhakaran.
Yasin Malik voices support for Tamil Eelam
May 19, 2013, 02.33AM IST TNN
Addressing the gathering, mostly members of Naam Tamilar, a pro-LTTE outfit, Malik said the Sri Lankan government might have wiped out the LTTE but not its dream of a separate Tamil Eelam. “Tamil Eelam is the goal of each and every Tamil person,” he said. He regretted that India failed to intervene and stop the genocide in the island nation. Malik came down heavily on the Sri Lankan government for foiling the international community’s mediation efforts with the LTTE and its attempts to restore peace during the final stages of the ethnic war. He urged the people to join the protest against countries indulging in racial discrimination and genocide.
Malik said he spent several years in jails in Rajasthan, Kashmir and Delhi for helping the victims of atrocities unleashed by the Indian Army. He regretted that none of the Indian states expressed solidarity with the people of Kashmir, who have been struggling and suffering for several years, he said.
Earlier, police removed the posters and banners of Naam Tamilar at the Manjakuppam grounds after permission to hold the public meeting was withdrawn. A heavy posse of policemen was deployed at the grounds and at the wedding hall where the organisers hosted ‘remembrance meeting’ to mark Prabhakaran’s death anniversary.
High drama preceded the visit of Malik, who is the chairman of one of the two factions of the separatist group Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front. A wary district police, just recovering from arson and violence unleashed by PMK cadres across the state until a week ago, withdrew the permission granted to Naam Tamilar to organise the public meeting at Manjakuppam grounds at the last minute. But the organisation, launched started by film director-turned-activist Seeman, quickly shifted the venue of the meeting to a marriage hall in the town. Later, addressing the gathering, Malik slammed the Tamil Nadu government for withdrawing permission for the public meeting at the eleventh hour.
Police also denied permission to Naam Tamilar to take out a rally to mark the LTTE leader’s death anniversary, observed as ‘remembrance day’. Prabhakaran was killed in the final phase of the Eelam war in Mullivaikal in northern Sri Lanka on May 19, 2009.
By Tarun Nangia – NEW DELHI
18th May 2013 09:52 AM
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader M K Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi has surrendered his illegally imported Hummer Sports Utility Vehicle at the office of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The investigating agency wanted to seize the car that was allegedly ‘illegally’ imported.
On Friday, Udhayanidhi came to the CBI office in Chennai and surrendered the possession of the car. It was imported in 2007 by Alex Joseph, a car importer based out of Hyderabad, who later sold it to Udhayanidhi. From 2007 to 2011, Joseph is alleged to have imported highly priced cars from abroad to India evading Custom Duties and he counted the rich and powerful among his customers.
The CBI carried out searches in March and seized a total of 33 cars from businessmen, companies and educationists in Tamil Nadu. CBI teams also searched the houses of DMK leaders Stalin and MK Alagiri then, but no car was seized from their premises. CBI had also searched the residence of Muruganandan, a senior official of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, who did not take action against Joseph and was part of a criminal conspiracy to allow the latter to import cars illegally.
Currently, CBI is on the trail of Joseph who is absconding.
Out of the 33 cars seized in March, 11 were seized from BCCI president N Srinivasan’s company, India Cements, seven from V R Venkatchalam, Chancellor of Sri Ramachandra University, five from businessman GK Shetty Ramana and two cars each from MGM Group of Companies and businessman Raja Shankar.
After seizing the cars, the CBI had handed them back to the owners upon submission of an undertaking that the vehicles would be produced before the court whenever required.
As part of investigations to probe the illegal import of cars in Tamil Nadu, the CBI searched the house of Ramanathan and recovered a fibre device used for manipulating the chassis number of cars from his residence.
ANTI-SETHU STIR SPLITS KARUNA CLAN
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 | Kumar Chellappan | CHENNAI
The DMK’s proposed agitation on May 15 to demolish the Ram Sethu, a stone structure in the Palk Bay held in veneration by the Hindus, has claimed its first casualty; the unity in the clan of the party chief M Karunanidhi. It has also brought out yet another doublespeak by the former Chief Minister.
Karunanidhi has been writing through Murasoli, the DMK mouthpiece, that there never existed any Ram Sethu. “Ambika Soni, the Union Culture Minister, had told Parliament that there was no archaeological evidence of a bridge,” said Karunanidhi in his article. But he was silent about the revelations in the book Marvels of The South Indian Railway published by Southern Railway in which a whole chapter has been devoted to the Ram Sethu.
In what could be a major embarrassment to the DMK chief, Historical Rama a well researched book authored by DK Hari and Hema Hari has quoted from The Gazetteer of Ramanathapuram district published in the year 1972. The Gazetteer has devoted three pages to Ram Sethu and says that the Adam’s Bridge is Ram Sethu or Thiruvanai (Tamil for sacred dam).
“It is also called Ramar Palam (Tamil for bridge) because it was built by the “Kuranguppadai (Vaanar Sena), the army of Vanara and it was in use till 1480 AD when it was washed away in a strom,” says The Gazetteer. Interestingly, the foreword to The Gazetteer was written on June 14, 1972 by the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M Karunanidhi.
“The information given in The Gazetteer is considered to be authentic and reliable, compiled as an encyclopaedic reference material for researchers as declared and signed by none less than the Chief Minister of the State in the foreword to The Gazetteer,” write the authors.
S Kalyanaraman, in his book The Indian Ocean Community has brought out references about Ram Sethu in Skanda Purana, Vishnu Purana, Agni Purana, Brahma Purana, Kurma Purana and Garuda Purana.
The DMK patriarch, who does not waste a single opportunity to make fun of Ramayana and Mahabharath, once asked during a public speech that in which engineering college did Ram study. Though no one gave him the answer, Karunanidhi fell ill the next day and was admitted to Sri Ramachandra Hospital in Chennai. The nonagenarian leader has not stood on his legs afterwards and moves around in a hi-tech wheel chair.
MK Alagiri, the Madurai strongman and Karunanidhi’s elder son, has been kept out of the Statewide agitation which has shocked the party cadre in the southern districts. With Karunanidhi sending a message to party office-bearers to bring the State to a standstill on May 15, those loyal to Alagiri has made it known that without Anja Nenjan (the Tamil word for brave heart, as Alagiri is addressed by his acolytes) nothing would move in Southern Tamil Nadu.
Party insiders said that Alagiri has been humiliated by Karunanidhi at the instance of Stalin, his younger son who is the heir apparent of the party. The pride of place for the May 15 agitation has been given to old time family loyalists TR Baalu and Durai Murugan. Even Kanimozhi has been relegated as a speaker to an innocuous district, reportedly at the instance of Durga, Stalin’s wife. “Durga does not like Kanimozhi stealing the limelight since she is a far better public speaker than Stalin who is yet to develop his own style of public speaking,” said a senior DMK leader.
Former Union Ministers Napoleon and Palani Manickam have cast their lots with Alagiri. In an interesting development, Kanimozhi crossed over to the Alagiri camp because of the indifference shown to her by younger brother Stalin. In the month of April, Stalin got cancelled a public meeting which was to be addressed by Kanimozhi. “She went to Karunanidhi and burst into tears. The old man sat in silence as Kanimozhi wept and lamented about the hardships faced by her for the party,” said the DMK leader who is upset over the renewed group war and shadow boxing in the party.
2G Spectrum Scam: The case against M Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi, who is among the accused in the 2G spectrum scandal, has so far been making slow progress, with the Enforcement Directorate yet to chargesheet her and former telecom minister A Raja under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
If and when that chargesheet is filed, Kanimozhi could potentially face a second jail term. It could also lead to attachment of her properties and those of DMK-backed Kalaignar TV, say ED officials. Once charged under the stringent act, getting bail is difficult and punishment severe: section 4 prescribes rigorous imprisonment of seven years. Besides, the ED can attach properties identified as “proceeds of crime”.
With Karunanidhi having given the UPA until Thursday to adopt a resolution on Lankan Tamils in Parliament, sources predicted negotiations, and among the issues they expected to be discussed was the chargesheet. ED officials , meanwhile,say it is in its final draft and likely to be filed early next month.
The ED adjudicating authority, a three-member authority for civil proceedings and headed by Prasanna Kumar Misra, had issued orders against various 2G accused in January 2012, accepting as “proceeds of crime” properties identified as such by the ED.
There have been no attachment proceedings against Kanimozhi yet, though the authority’s order had said, “This so-called loan (said to be routed to Kalaignar TV) is the central issue in the case before us. Investigations have disclosed that Dynamix Reality and DB Realty Ltd had taken credit facilities from Ms IL&FS…”
Properties of Shahid Usman Balwa, Swan Telecom, D B Realty and others, together worth Rs 223.55 crore, have on the other hand already been attached by the ED. These include flats, land, bank balances and other assets described as “proceeds of crime”.
Kanimozhi had spent 190 days in Tihar Jail in 2011 after the CBI named her an “active brain” behind the functioning and setting up of Kalaignar TV. The CBI alleged that Kalaignar TV had received Rs 209 crore, deposited into their accounts through a circuitous route, from Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB).
Sack Alagiri: Jaya
FRIDAY, 25 JANUARY 2013 00:37
KUMAR CHELLAPPAN | CHENNAI
After the 2G scam, coalgate and Commonwealth Games scam, it is the turn of fertiliser scam which has come to haunt the UPA Government. The main protagonist of the Rs1,000-crore scam is MK Alagiri, Union Fertilisers Minister and son of M Karunanidhi, the DMK chief.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday demanded the immediate sacking of Alagiri from the Union Cabinet on charges of a fertiliser scam worth Rs1,000 crore. She also wanted a CBI inquiry into the scam in which fertiliser manufacturers have made a windfall in the sale of nutrient-based fertilisers by exploiting farmers across the country.
In a statement released to the media, Jayalalithaa pointed out that the nutrient-based subsidy (NBS) scheme introduced in April 2010 by the UPA Government has only helped the fertiliser manufacturers to make huge profits at the cost of poor farmers.
She said though the Minister of State Srikant Jena had written to Alagiri last year itself, that fertiliser manufacturers were making Rs5,000 on every tonne of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and Rs6,000 on every tonne of muriate of potash sold in the country, the latter just ignored the letter.
This resulted in farmers being forced to pay exorbitant prices for DAP and muriate of potash, both imported fertilisers. Jayalalithaa has put Alagiri in a tight spot by recounting a media report in which the Union Minister told reporters to go and ask the Prime Minister when he was asked about the unviability of NBS scheme.
Jayalalithaa reminded the Prime Minister that she had written to him in June 2012 itself about the difficulties faced by the farmers because of the NBS scheme. “The introduction of the NBS scheme by the Government of India from 1st April, 2010, coupled with an unreliable supply of fertilisers to the State is indeed threatening to deprive our farmers of their basic means of sustenance and livelihood. With the introduction of the NBS policy, liberty has been given to the manufacturers/importers of chemical fertilisers to fix the Maximum Retail Price on their cost of production/import. Since then, these fertiliser companies have been hiking the retail price at will, causing extreme hardship to farmers. Consequently, the prices of various fertilisers have gone up two to three times after the introduction of the NBS policy. The increase has been particularly steep since April, 2012. To cite a few examples, between April 17, 2012, and June 18, 2012, the MRP of a 50 kg bag of DAP and MOP marketed by Indian Potash Limited has increased from Rs910 to Rs1,200, and Rs680 to Rs840 respectively. The rate of a 50 kg bag of DAP (IPL) has gone up to Rs1,200 from Rs486.20 (an increase of 247%), a 50 kg bag of MOP (IPL) now costs Rs840 as against Rs231.66 (an increase of 363%), the rate of a 50 kg bag of complex 10:26:26 (IFFCO) has increased to Rs1,110 from Rs374.24 (an increase of 297%) and the rate of a 50 kg bag of complex 20:20:0:13 (Greenstar) has increased to Rs858.76 from Rs327.40 (an increase of 262%) since 2010,” Jayalalithaa has written in the letter dated June 26, 2012 to the Prime Minister.
She had pointed out that, the Department of Fertilisers, GOI, reduced the subsidy for 2012-2013 for DAP to Rs14,350 per tonne from Rs19,763 per tonne fixed in 2011, and for MOP to Rs14,400 per tonne as against Rs16,054 per tonne. I understand that the Department of Fertiliser has also proposed a hike of another 10 per cent in urea prices and has also planned to cut subsidies further on the pretext of subsidising bio-fertilisers. Faced with a steep price rise and having to digest a sharp reduction in subsidy, our farmers have been hit hard in terms of economic returns from farming. I have tried to mitigate the blow delivered by the Central Government and protect our farmers’ interests by waiving the levy of 4 per cent VAT on the sale of fertilisers,” she wrote.
Jayalalithaa had also wanted the Union Government to withdraw the NBS policy and reintroduce the fixed MRP policy for all fertilisers. “Otherwise a situation will emerge wherein farming will become absolutely unremunerative, resulting in large tracts of land being left uncultivated,” she had said .
Kattumannarkoil Kannan, a farmer from Cuddalore district, said farmers were forced to cough up high prices for DAP and MOP. “The sad fact was that these fertilisers disappeared from the market when they were needed badly. The Union Government failed miserably in making these faertilisers available to the farmers,” he said.
Alagiri has been in the news recently many times, all for unpleasant reasons. His son Durai Dayanidhi was on the run following his role in illegal quarrying of granites and marbles in Madurai district. Dayanidhi had to go underground to save himself from a non-bailable warrant issued against him by a Madurai magistrate. But the Madras High Court came to his help by allowing an anticipatory bail petition though with conditions. Alagiri also lost the race for the control of the DMK with father Karunanidhi openly announcing that Stalin, his second son, would be his successor.