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MK Alagiri lied to PM, lands in row

MK Alagiri lied to PM, lands in row

Author: Shabbir Ahmed and Priyamvatha
Publication: India Today
Date: July 12, 2011
URL: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/story/mk-alagiri-lied-to-pm-lands-in-row/1/144572.html

Trouble has been hounding the DMK first family. First it was A. Raja, then M.K. Kanimozhi and Dayanidhi Maran and now Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers M.K. Alagiri, who is the elder son of party chief M. Karunanidhi.

Headlines Today has proof that Alagiri lied to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Union minister did not truthfully declare assets in his and his family's name.

Headlines Today is in exclusive possession of documents that show how Alagiri and his wife entered into a land deal with controversial lottery kingpin Santiago Martin.

Agricultural land was bought in the name of Kanthi Alagiri in one of the prime areas of Madurai opposite the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.

Four acres were purchased on March 5, 2010 for a mere Rs 85 lakh. This was far less than its market value at the time, pegged at Rs 4 crore per acre, which would amount to a total of Rs 16 crore. The current worth of the plot has shot up to Rs 6 crore per acre now, making the land worth a good Rs 24 crore.

The land actually belongs to a Madurai Temple Trust, founded in 1936. The temple is run by the trust. Documents reveal land and income can be used for charity and no individual can sell land.

Annasamaradhanai Trust Temple priest Subramaniam says, "It's a temple property. Santiago Martin illegally claimed ownership of this land and now it has been transferred and registered in the name of Kanthi Alagiri, wife of Union Minister M.K. Alagiri. We demand the government to retrieve our temple land and hand it over to the temple trust. We hope Chief Minister Jayalilathaa will take action upon my complaint."

"The market value of land has increased. In 2011, the value has further increased 5 lakh per cent," says Venkatraman, a real estate entrepreneur and advocate.

The question is how Martin purchased 17 acres of temple land and sold it too? This happened despite 60 cases pending against him in Tamil Nadu in connection with the illegal sale of banned lotteries. Was it because Martin enjoys a close relationship with the DMK top brass? Or because, for Alagiri, Madurai was a fiefdom?

"This is a small scam whereas bigger scams of Alagiri needs to come out. He is a gangster in Madurai area," says AIADMK leader Malaiswamy.

In his annual declaration to the Prime Minister's Office on March 31, 2010 Alagiri did not declare his assets to the PMO office. These documents have also been accessed by Headlines Today. But when confronted by Headlines Today with this proof, the minister replied: "Show me papers. Don't ask stupid question."

With the DMK out of power, allegations of land grabbing by party functionaries have been pouring in from all over Tamil Nadu and political common sense dictates that the AIADMK government would obviously be very keen to see that justice in these cases is meted out.

Land deal for Alagiri

In March 2010, temple land is bought by Alagiri's wife from lottery King Santiago Martin. Kanthi Alagiri bought four acres for Rs 85 lakh. Then market rate of land was Rs four crore per acre. The current market value is Rs. 6 crore per acre.

About Santiago Martin

He was the king of lottery business till previous AIADMK government banned lotteries in Tamil Nadu. Many cases are pending against him in Tamil Nadu over irregularities in lottery business. He bought entertainment channel SS Music. He revived two films written by Karunanidhi and acquired temple trust land and sold it cheap to Alagiri's wife.

Tainted DMK leaders

A. Raja: Former telecom minister, arrested in the 2G scam case and booked for criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and misuse of official position.

M.K. Kanimozhi: DMK leader and Karunanidhi's daughter, arrested in the 2G scam case and booked as a co-conspirator.

Dayanidhi Maran: Former Union textiles minister, accused of giving out-of-turn licences. The case is under investigation.

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