MK Azhagiri, union cabinet minister and the DMK strongman in Madurai is in trouble. In an unprecedented move, U Sagayam, the district collector has asked Azhagiri, his wife Kanthi and son Dhayanidhi to appear before him in person or through a representative on January 4 and make their stance on a complaint filed by a farmer from Sivarakottai village against the union minister.
M Ramalingam, a farmer, has alleged that Azhagiri, Kanthi and Dhayanidhi-all trustees of MK Azhagiri Educational Trust, damaged and destroyed irrigation channels in the village while constructing Dhaya Engineering College, a family enterprise. He charged that hundreds of farmers lost their only source of irrigation because of the destruction of the channels.
Sagayam asked the District Revenue Officer to hold an enquiry following the complaint by Ramalingam. “The DRO has visited the village to verify the veracity of the complaint and observed that there is prima facie case,” said the notice issued by the collector.
An earlier notice issued by the district collector was withdrawn after Azhagiri and family members filed a writ petition challenging it in the high court. The court had asked the collector to reword the letter of summons to the union minister.
“It is not a summons. We sent a notice to Azhagiri in his capacity as the Managing Trustee of the Education Trust named after him. He can always depute a representative to explain the facts,” a senior official in the collectorate told this newspaper.
But for Azhagiri, the elder son of the DMK president M Karunanidhi,this is a major setback. Till May this year, he was a law unto himself in southern Tamil Nadu. The change of government in Fort Saint George in Chennai has taken its toll with each and every action of the union minister coming under the scanner of the AIADMK government led by Jayalalithaa.
Author - Kumar Chellappan
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