Raja to be out of cabinet till cleared: Karunanidhi

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Chennai, Aug 7 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today said sacked Handloom Minister N K K P Raja, facing an abduction case, would be out of the cabinet, till the court verdict was known.

In a statement here, Mr Karunanidhi, who gave clean chits to three other ministers, said while there ''appears to be a basis for allegation against Mr Raja, there was no truth in the charges against Tourism Minister N Suresh Rajan, Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S Arumugam and Labour Minister T M Anbarasan.

He said enquiries through appropriate official channels revealed the report that Mr Anbarasan was protecting an accused in a murder case by name Kumar, wanted by the police, was false. ''It is also clearly known that the minsiter is in no way preventing the arrest of the accused'', he said.

Mr Karunanidhi said there was also no prima facie for the case registered against Mr Suresh Rajan, under SC and ST (prevention of atrocities) Act. ''I do not rely on this accusation since he has been an ardent follower of Dravidian movement right from his younger days'', he said.

Regarding the case filed in the High court against Mr Arumugam, the Chief Minister said the police have sent a report to the court. After enquiring about the report, it was clear that there was no basis for the allegation against the Minister, he said.

However, in respect of the case against Mr Raja that he had abducted one Palanisamy, his wife Malarvizhi and their son Sivabalan, consequent to a land acquisition, he said the abducted people themselves appeared before the court, while their son, Sivabalan said he was not abducted by anyone.

Enquiry revealed that a case has been filed against one Soudararajan, secretary of AIADMK Labour union and he had attempted to occupy the lands forcibly on the instigation of Mr Raja.

''Since there appears to be basis for the above allegation against the Minister, Mr Raja is relieved from his ministerial responsibilities until the verdict of the court is known'', Mr Karunanidhi said.

UNI WS VV RL RN1842

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