The graft copolymerization of methacrylic acid onto gelatinized potato starch has been carried out at 70 0 C using chromic acid as initiator. The different reaction parameters such as effect of temperature, initiator and monomer concentrations were optimized to determine the maximum percentage grafting. The maximum grafting efficiency of 87.5% was optimized at reaction temperature (60 0 C), monomer concentration (0.81molL -1 ) and initiator concentration (0.02 mmol.L -1 ). The grafted samples were evaluated for other physico-chemical properties such as swelling behavior, moisture absorption and chemical resistance. The grafted samples were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) techniques. The additional peaks observed in FTIR spectra of grafted samples confirmed the grafting of monomer onto gelatinized starch. The grafted co-polymers have been successfully used for the removal metal ions and organic dyes from aqueous system.