CHENNAI: Even as the land-grabbing charges against senior DMK leader and Agriculture Minister S Arumugam is snowballing into a major issue, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, on Monday, temporarily re-allocated the agriculture portfolio to Transport Minister K N Nehru.
Arumugam, who was admitted to Apollo Hospitals here on November 28 on complaints of respiratory infection and fever, continues to be in the critical care unit and there has been no significant improvement in his health condition.
Karunanidhi visited Apollo today and enquired about Arumugam’s health.
The announcement about the portfolio change came when members of Centre for Protection of Civil Liberties (CPCL) from Salem, during a press meet in the city, wanted the ouster of Arumugam on land grabbing charges. The CPCL members also released video CDs of an alleged sting operation showing Amudha, the Salem District Additional Subordinate Judge holding talks with G Haribabu of CPCL, on behalf of Arumugam for settling the land-grabbing case.
On August 7, Karunanidhi had sacked Handlooms Minister N K K P Raja on land grabbing Charges.
But he gave a clean chit to three of his other other cabinet colleagues _ Arumugam, N Suresh Rajan and T M Anbarasan _ all facing serious charges.
On the charges against Arumugam, the Chief Minister said the police had sent a report to the court on its direction. ``It has become clear that there is no basis for the allegation against him’’, he had asserted then. Earlier, Karunanidhi dropped Poongothai Aladi Aruna from his Cabinet for seeking a favour from the Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption to `protect’ one of her relatives in a corruption case.