Shanghai party secretary and long-time Jiang Zemin ally Chen Liangyu was sacked for his involvement in the city's growing pension fund scandal, the South China Morning Post reported. He is one of the most senior leaders to fall in a corruption probe. State media said Sunday that party officials were investigating Chen, 59, and he has now been removed from his post as Shanghai party secretary and from the party's 24-member Politburo. "No matter who, no matter how high their post, those who violate party discipline and state laws will receive serious investigation and severe punishment," the Communist Party Central Committee said via state media. Observers say the move may also underscore the growing strength of President Hu Jintao, who wants to appoint key people ahead of the Communist Party meeting in 2007.