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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Stalin may be sent to help Alagiri in Jena controversy

Shekhar Iyer, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 27, 2013
First Published: 01:02 IST(27/1/2013) | Last Updated: 02:04 IST(27/1/2013)

DMK chief M Karunanidhi may depute his younger son and heir apparent, MK Stalin, to talk to central leaders for sorting out the stand-off between his elder son, Union minister MK Alagiri, and minister of state Srikant Jena over an alleged fertiliser scam.

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Stalin, who has been named by Karunanidhi as his most likely successor, is slated to arrive in the Capital on Sunday, ostensibly to hand over a copy of memorandum on the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils to central leaders, including external affairs minister Salman Khurshid.

However, DMK sources believe he may carry a letter from Karunanidhi to Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, expressing his father's views on the “problems” faced by Alagiri.

Alagiri is upset with Jena, who is an independent minister of state for programme implementation and statistics but answers parliamentary questions relating to the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers. Jena was quoted by the media as having pointed out irregularities in the fertiliser business and how Alagiri had remained silent on the issue.

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa urged the Prime Minister last week to sack Alagiri over the “fertiliser scam”, and order a CBI probe.

Alagiri was angry that Jena had given Jayalalithaa an opportunity to attack him in this regard. “Ask the PM,” was his response to media queries on Jayalalithaa’s demand.

Media reports stated that Jena had written five notes to his senior colleague between March and August 2012, when prices of fertilisers had spiked despite subsidies from the Centre. Later, in a clarification, Jena said, “The reports are based on routine administrative notes,  without verifying facts.”

Ironically, Alagiri, who was upset with his father for backing his younger brother's candidature for assuming the party leadership, called on him on January 22.


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