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Tamil Nadu secures 12 berths

By Our Special Correspondent

P. Chidambaram

CHENNAI, MAY 22. For the first time, Tamil Nadu has obtained as many as 12 berths in the Union Council of Ministers, including six of Cabinet rank. The rest are Ministers of State.

The previous highest tally for the State was in the outgoing National Democratic Alliance Government with nine Ministers, including two of Cabinet rank.

Mani Shankar Aiyar

Now P. Chidambaram, Mani Shankar Aiyar, T.R. Baalu, A. Raja, Dayanidhi Maran and R. Anbumani have been given the Cabinet rank. S.S. Palani Manickam, S. Raghupathi, K.Venkatapathi, Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan, E.V.K.S. Elangovan and R.Velu have been made Ministers of State.

Largest representation for DMK

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has the largest representation with three Cabinet Ministers and four Ministers of State. Mr. Baalu, Mr. Maran and Mr. Raja are in the Cabinet and Mr. Palani Manickam, Mr. Raghupathi, Mr.Venkatapathi and Ms. Jagadeesan are Ministers of State.


While Mr. Baalu and Mr. Raja were in the NDA Ministry, the others have become Union Ministers for the first time. Mr. Maran, son of the late Murasoli Maran, is becoming a Cabinet Minister on his maiden entry into Parliament. For Mr. Raja it is an elevation from Minister of State in the previous NDA Ministry to Cabinet rank.

The Pattali Makkal Katchi, which had two Ministers of State in the NDA Ministry, has two representations now also, including one Cabinet Minister. Dr. Anbumani, son of the PMK founder, S.Ramadoss, has been made Cabinet Minister though he is not a member of either the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha. The other PMK representative, Mr. Velu, a retired IAS officer, becomes Minister in his first stint as MP.

Congress nominees

The Congress, which returned to power at the Centre after nearly eight years, has three nominees from Tamil Nadu, including two Cabinet Ministers. While Mr. Chidambaram becomes Union Minister again, Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar and Mr. Elangovan have been inducted for the first time. Mr. Elangovan gets the post in his first term in the Lok Sabha.

A. Raja

Mr. Chidambaram has been elected to the Lok Sabha six times since 1984 from Sivaganga. He served as Union Minister under Rajiv Gandhi, P.V. Narasimha Rao, Deve Gowda and I. K. Gujral.

Mr. Baalu has been elected from South Chennai for the fourth time in succession. He held various portfolios including Petroleum, Environment and Forests.

Mr. Aiyar, representing Mayiladuturai, who was a close associate of the late Rajiv Gandhi, resigned from the Indian Foreign Service cadre and joined politics at his instance. He was elected from Mayiladuturai in the 1991 and 1999 Lok Sabha elections also.

Dayanidhi Maran

Mr. Dayanidhi Maran was elected from Central Chennai, a seat held by Murasoli Maran. He was an important DMK representative during negotiations with the Congress for forging an alliance.

Mr. Raja, who was Minister of State for Health in the last Ministry, has now been elevated to the Cabinet rank. He represents Perambalur (Reserved).

R. Anbumani

Dr. Anbumani, who is likely to be elected to the Rajya Sabha, is the president of Pasumai Thayagam, PMK green wing. He has participated in various international meetings on environment.

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