Sack Alagiri, Jaya tells PM

FP

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to oust Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister M K Alagiri from the Union Cabinet for an alleged fertiliser scam that enabled manufacturers to gain Rs 1,000 crore. Jaya added that a CBI probe should be ordered into the case.

Returning to the capital after a 22-day stay at Kodanadu Estate, Jaya trained her guns on Alagiri, the elder son of her arch rival, DMK president M Karunanidhi, charging that the scam had seriously affected farmers across the country who were forced to pay an inflated amount which benefited fertiliser manufacturers.

Citing media reports about a possible scam in the ministry, she said the nutrient-based subsidy scheme brought in by it in 2010 only served to push up prices of fertilisers like di-ammonium phosphate and muriate of potash. Alagiri, she said, disregarded repeated communications from his junior minister, Srikant Jena, about the irregularities. Alagiri's silence could be a sign of admission of corruption, she said in a statement Thursday.

"Considering that the effort to stop this scheme came from the junior minister of the same ministry, PM Manmohan Singh should immediately remove Alagiri from the cabinet and order a CBI inquiry to bring out the truth and punish those guilty of causing huge financial loss to the government and poor farmers," she said.

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