IAS officer Umashankar is victimised: Jayalalithaa

Coimbatore, Aug 4 (Calcutta Tube) Leader of Opposition in Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa Wednesday termed the suspension of IAS officer C. Umashankar by the state government as a case of victimisation for taking on the Maran brothers and another industrialist.

Coming in support of Umashankar, Jayalalithaa said: ‘The suspension of C. Umashankar, a 1990 batch IAS officer belonging to the Dalit community, on the pretext that he had entered the Civil Services using a bogus community certificate, smacks of victimisation by the minority DMK government.’

Recalling the rift between Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s family and the Maran brothers (Sun TV head honcho Kalanithi Maran and his brother and Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran), she said: ‘In a bid to curb the growing financial and political clout of the Maran brothers, on August 11, 2007, Karunanidhi announced the launch of Arasu Cable Corporation (ACC), ostensibly to provide cable TV connections to the people at reasonable rates, but in reality to pose a challenge to the Maran brothers’ Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV). Umashankar was appointed Managing Director of ACC with a specific mandate from Karunanidhi to eliminate SCV.’

She said more than Rs.400 crore was invested in ACC for sophisticated electronic receivers and fibre-optic cable networking.

Referring to the patch up between Maran brothers and Karunanidhi’s family, she added: ‘The IAS officer, who had been entrusted by Karunanidhi with the task of taking on the Maran brothers, was made the scapegoat and shunted out of ACC as it itself became dysfunctional. Crores of public money invested in the venture went down the drain.’

Umashankar had earlier also earned Karunanidhi’s wrath in the case of ETL Infrastructure, she said.

In 2006, Umashankar as the Managing Director of Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT) had floated a joint venture company with New Era Technologies Limited called ELNET.

‘ELNET, in turn, launched a subsidiary company called ETL Infrastructure Limited. This company was credited with assets worth Rs.700 crore. It purchased 25 acres of land at Pallikaranai near Chennai and constructed an IT park of 17 lakh square feet,’ she said.

‘It also got IT Special Economic Zone status from the Government of India by projecting itself as a subsidiary of the state owned ELCOT. But later, ETL became a wholly privately owned company with Unnamalai Thiagarajan as its MD (Managing Director), who also garnered the Rs.700 crore assets of ETL,’ Jayalalithaa added.

Umashankar had raised questions about the disappearance of a subsidiary of ELCOT from its records altogether along with Rs.700 crore assets, she said.

‘All civil service appointments for the whole of India are done by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). It is the responsibility of the UPSC to vet the antecedents of every recruit and verify all their certificates,’ she said.

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