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Probe ordered to avoid incurring people's wrath: Karunanidhi

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday charged the State government with ordering a judicial probe into non-existent complaints of irregularities in the construction of the Assembly-Secretariat complex at Omandurar Estate here, solely with a view to escaping public anger for its refusal to make use of the new building.

“Those in the government have claimed that they have got complaints regarding the construction of the new Secretariat and have instituted a commission of inquiry. The people know very well that this has been done only because Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who does not want to move into the building, understands that there will be public resentment if her government fails to utilise the facility and she has ordered a probe only to avoid incurring the people's wrath,” Mr. Karunanidhi said in a letter to his party cadre.

He noted that while there were media reports about the institution of the judicial inquiry into “complaints” regarding its construction, there were hardly any reports that spoke of anybody giving such complaints.

“Artificially drawn up”

“A list of complaints has been artificially drawn up and an inquiry ordered into it,” he added.

Referring to the terms of reference for the probe, including deficiencies in construction, undue delay in completing the project and instances of wasteful expenditure, Mr. Karunanidhi raised queries regarding the amounts spent in connection with Ms. Jayalalithaa's recent visit to New Delhi and the expenditure involved in shifting the Classical Tamil Research Library out of Fort St. George and converting it back into the Assembly chamber.

“How much was spent on returning to the old Secretariat? What's the expenditure involved in the Chief Minister using a private aircraft instead of taking a scheduled flight? Should there not be a probe into such wasteful expenditure?” Mr. Karunanidhi asked.

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