After avoiding office, Parliament and cabinet meetings, Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister MK Alagiri is now going to miss the first anniversary bash of the UPA-II government.
The Congress-led UPA government assumed office for the second term in May last year.
The DMK leader is taking a 16-day leave from his duties to visit his family members in the US. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has cleared the trip from May 13 to May 28.
The minister’s perpetual absence from office, parliament and cabinet meetings had caused a major embarrassment to the UPA government. There was uproar over the issue in parliament during the recently concluded budget session.
But that has not stopped Alagiri from taking 61 domestic flights to or from Chennai and Madurai between May 29 and December 1 last year at a cost of about Rs 14.5 lakh. He had also taken 6 international flights during the period.
In the middle of the budget session, the minister was holidaying in Maldives for about 10 days from April 17. The PMO had given its approval then as well. Alagiri’s deputy Srikant Jena has been a good sport — he has donned his senior’s cap in Parliament and the ministry all through the year.