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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 880

Karunanidhi engineering: Radhika Selvi, wife of a slain 'gangster' becomes minister

By M Rama Rao - reporting from New Delhi

New Delhi, 18 May (Asiantribune.com): V. Radhika Selvi, wife of a 'gangster' Venkatesh Panayar and a first time lawmaker on DMK ticket takes over as junior minister for home in the Manmohan Singh cabinet.Now, it appears, instead of Kanimozhi, her elder brother M K Azhagiri, who is presently in the eye of a storm in Madurai will arrive in Delhi as the Rajya Sabha member.Now, it appears, instead of Kanimozhi, her elder brother M K Azhagiri, who is presently in the eye of a storm in Madurai will arrive in Delhi as the Rajya Sabha member.

Her appointment to the high profile job is a part of social engineering DMK patriarch and Tamil Nadu chief minister Muthavel Karunanidhi has put in place after the exit of his grand nephew Dayanidhi Maran from the Central Government last week. Maran's place at the IT ministry was taken over by A Raja, who was hitherto in the Environment ministry. The vacancy for Selvi in Home ministry was created by shifting the incumbent S. Regupathy, to the post vacated by Raja. Raja and Regupathy are DMK nominees in the Manmohan Singh cabinet.

Selvi's husband was killed in a police encounter four years back in Chennai. The don belonged to the influential Nadar community and the encounter turned them against the then chief minister Jayalalithaa. Selvi, handpicked by Karunanidhi, campaigned She campaigned in the Tiruchendur constituency with her little child in her hands. Her appointment has naturally put the constituency in celebration mode.

The DMK's move is a check mate for actor Sarath Kumar's plans to float a Nadar-based political outfit.

''Sarath Kumar, who was trying to mobilize the Nadar community, has now got a big snub with Madam's induction into the Ministry',' Sundaram, DMK's point's man in Tiruchendur Panchayat, said.

Not Daughter

Maran's exit was expected to lead to the arrival of Karunanidhi's poet- daughter, Kanimozhi here as the new points person for the DMK supremo. There was even speculation that she would be brought to the Rajya Sabha next month and made a minister.

Now, it appears, instead of Kanimozhi, her elder brother M K Azhagiri, who is presently in the eye of a storm in Madurai will arrive in Delhi as the Rajya Sabha member. The state will be sending three new members in the next couple of months. DMK has decided to field Azhagiri for one of the seats. A former DMK MP will be in the fray for the second seat while the third seat will go to D Raja, CPI's national secretary.

To counter the powerful Sun TV of Maran brothers, some senior DMK leaders are toying with the idea of launching a new television channel and a Tamil newspaper 'to protect and foster the interests of the DMK'.

Anbazhagan, Arcot Veerasamy and other seniors are at the forefront of the move which is still at the drawing board. Feasibility is under study according to a report from Chennai, which also says that the possibility of stripping Dayanidhi Maran of his Parliament membership cannot be ruled out.

- Asian Tribune -

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