He demands that the Industries Minister prove charges

Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, M.K. Alagiri, has denied that he has anything to do with granite quarrying.

He was responding to an announcement in the Assembly by Industries Minister S.P. Velumani that the government had cancelled licences for granite quarries belonging to associates of Mr. Alagiri. In a release, Mr. Alagiri claimed that he had never been involved in granite quarrying ever in his life. He demanded that Mr. Velumani prove the charges. If he failed to do so, he would have to quit as Minister and MLA. Mr. Alagiri said that he had shot off a missive to the Speaker demanding proof for the statement made in the House.

He threatened legal action against Mr. Velumani if he could not provide proof within 15 days.

On Wednesday, Mr. Velumani had informed the Assembly that quarries belonging to Mr. Alagiri's associates had been cancelled. He alleged that natural resources were being looted by them.

He was responding to the observations of Puthiya Tamizhagam leader K. Krishnaswamy, who sought a White Paper on the status of quarries.