Sorry chapter of M K Alagiri performance as Union minister

M K Alagiri

DMK'S pullout from UPA has ended the tenure of one of the biggest non-performing ministers. M K Alagiri, who was Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister, was rarely in office and never replied to a question in Parliament since his induction in 2009.

While day-to-day duties were performed by MoS Srikant Jena, Alagiri used to be quick to block Jena's opinions when it came to deciding important policies like fertiliser subsidy or pricing of medicines. His insistence on speaking only in Tamil meant he interacted only with Tamil-speaking officials.

He also ensured that any vacancy in his ministry was filled by Tamil Nadu cadre officers. Chairman of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, financial advisor in ministry and two joint secretaries were all from TN cadre. While his personal staff ruled the roost from his office, important files used to be taken to Madurai for clearance. Now, Jena is feeling liberated, having been given full charge of the ministry.

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