School Education Minister Vaigai Chelvan was on Thursday dropped from the Cabinet, on the day he was scheduled to present awards to teachers on the occasion of Teachers’ Day.
Dr. Vaigai Chelvan’s portfolio would hereafter be handled by Higher Education Minister P. Palaniappan, according to an official release issued in the evening. The axed Minister was also in charge of Sports and Youth Welfare, Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture.
More or less around the time [4-45 p.m.] the formal announcement from Raj Bhavan came, Mr. Palaniappan, the new School Education Minister, went to MCC Higher Secondary School here and distributed the ‘Radhakrishnan Award’ to several teachers.
Hours before the announcement regarding the sacking of Dr Vaigai Chelvan came, a statement issued by Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary Jayalalithaa said that he had also been removed from the position of secretary of the party’s youth wing (Ilaignar Pasarai, Ilam Pengal Pasarai).
Vaigai Chelvan was made Minister in February. He succeeded N.R. Sivapathy who held the post for about a year. When the AIADMK government took over in May 2011, C.Ve. Shanmugam was the first School Education Minister.
In the 2011 Assembly polls, Dr. Vaigai Chelvan shot to fame by defeating K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s Virudhunagar district secretary in the Aruppukottai constituency.
In October last year, he was made Government Whip in the Assembly and weeks before he became the Minister, he made a scathing attack in the House on DMK president M. Karunanidhi.
Asked for reaction, Mr. Karunanidhi told reporters that it was the prerogative of the Chief Minister to change Ministers.
To another question regarding the impact of frequent change of Ministers, the DMK leader said it was for the person who shuffled Ministers and for those who got shuffled to worry.