KANNUR: Representatives of various social action groups in Puducherry have demanded removal of Puducherry Health Minister and Mahe MLA E. Valsaraj from the Cabinet in the wake of the alleged irregularities in the purchase of land by a cooperative society headed by him.
Speaking at a press conference here on Thursday, they said a joint memorandum had been submitted to the Lt. Governor and the Chief Minister of Puducherry for taking action against the Minister. The organisations would extend their support to the local action council that was launching an agitation demanding the Minister’s resignation pending an inquiry into the land deal, they said.
The representatives present at the press conference included Su. Pavanan (Viduthali Chiruththaigal Katchi), G. Sugumaran (Federation for People’s Rights), Logu. Ayyappan (Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam), M. Muthukannu (People’s Union for Civil Liberties), Ira. Azhagiri (Thamizhar Desiya Iyakkam) and Pa. Azhaganandam (Jananayaga Munnetra Kazhakam).
They alleged that there were serious irregularities in the purchase of plots by the Cooperative Centre for Information Technology headed by Mr. Valsaraj. An extent of 1.82 acre of land at Palloor had been purchased for Rs.1.5 crore in 2004, they said alleging that it was in violation of the Puducherry Cooperative Societies Act and Rules.
The society had paid Rs.90,000 a cent when the market price for a cent of land in the area was Rs.19,000, they said.
The Minister should step down to face an impartial inquiry, they said adding that his continuation as Minister would jeopardise the investigation.
They also demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the allegation and steps by the Puducherry government to move the Madras High Court for getting the stay on the probe by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption vacated.
Documents relating to the case be seized for safe custody to avert any attempt to tamper with them, they said.
The Hindu / 04.04.2008.