‘Ask officials about cancellation of DISHA meeting’

Sellur Raju says Ministers are only members of the committee

Minister for Cooperation Sellur K. Raju on Sunday expressed ignorance over the reasons that led to cancellation of District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee (DISHA) meeting scheduled for Saturday.

On Saturday, MPs Su. Venkatesan (Madurai) and B. Manickam Tagore (Virudhunagar) had charged that Madurai Collector T. Anbalagan could not have taken a unilateral decision to cancel the meeting. They had alleged that since he was under pressure from the State Ministers, the Collector cancelled the meeting.

“How could we be reasons (for the cancellation)”, Mr. Raju told The Hindu. Stating that the Ministers were only members of the committee and it was only the MP who was the chairman, he said he had nothing to do with it. He suggested that workload could have been the reason. “Please ask the officials,” he said.

When asked about the charge that 90% of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme funds had gone to Tirumangalam Assembly constituency, the Minister said he was unaware of it. “I need to check with the officials,” he said. On poor allocation of funds to his (Mr. Raju’s) constituency, the Minister said whatever was allocated was being put to use.

Mr. Venkatesan had said since the MPs were co-chairpersons of the panel, the Collector, who was the member-secretary, had no powers to cancel the meeting. The Collector had cited “administrative reason” as a cause for cancellation of the meeting.

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