A day after the state government removed Tamil Nadu Information Technology Minister K Manikandan from the cabinet, DMK Chief MK Stalin has expressed shock over the decision. Stalin pointed out that Manikandan had raised pertinent issues regarding the conflict of interest in appointing the new Arasu Cable TV head and co-minister Udumalai K Radhakrishnan. He demanded that the Chief Minister remove Radhakrishnan from his post and direct a probe by the Directorate of Vigilance and Corruption.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, the DMK chief stated that the allegation made by Manikandan assumes significance since the Arasu Cable TV corporation was under his control. The minister was removed from his post on August 7, shortly after he told the media in Ramanathapuram that he was not consulted by the Chief Minister before the decision to cut down the Arasu cable TV charges was made. He stated that the government will witness a revenue loss of Rs 27 crore every month because of the reduction. He further expressed his displeasure over the appointment of Udumalai K Radhakrishnan.
‚ÄúThe newly appointed chairman of the state-run Arasu cable TV has said that the cable operators should not sell the private set-top boxes to the consumers. But he himself is running a private cable TV called Akshaya which has around 2 lakh connections. This is a clear conflict of interest,‚ÄĚ Manikandan told the media.
Hours after this, he was removed from the cabinet based on a recommendation from Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami himself. He became the first minister to be dropped after Edappadi took control of the government in February 2017.
Responding to this decision, MK Stalin said, " This is yet another example of how people in government are misusing their power and being corrupt. Why has the Chief Minister hurriedly appointed Udumalai Radhakrishnan, who has 200 private connections, as the head of Arasu Cable TV? Is Manikandan's allegation and his removal from the cabinet linked? The Chief Minister must answer all these questions," he said.