In a surprise move, Commercial Taxes and Registration Minister C.Ve. Shanmugam, regarded as a promising face in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government, was on Wednesday dropped from the Cabinet.

Apart from recommending his removal, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa went in for a minor change of portfolios of four Ministers.

The latest shuffle is the seventh after the present government assumed charge. In mid-July, Revenue Minister K.A. Sengottaiyan, ranked third in the Cabinet, was sacked.

The 47-year-old Shanmugam, three-time MLA and who now represents Villupuram in the Assembly, was also stripped of the party post of Villupuram (North) district secretary. He had been holding the post for eight years.

P. Mohan, Government Whip in the Assembly and Member of Legislative Assembly of the Sankarapuram constituency in the same district, would be sworn in Minister for Rural Industries at 11 a.m. on Saturday, according to a communiqué from the Raj Bhavan.

This would be the second spell for Mr Mohan to be a Minister as he looked after the subjects of Environment and Forests and Cooperation and Food during March 2002 to January 2004.

As part of the latest changes, the subjects of Commercial Taxes and Registration have been given to B.V. Ramnaa, whose current portfolios of Environment and Pollution Control will hereafter be handled by M.C. Sampath.

The other subjects handled by Mr Shanmugam – Law, Courts and Prisons, Personnel and Administrative Reforms, and Prevention of Corruption – have been transferred to School Education Minister N.R. Sivapathy.

Social Welfare Minister B. Valarmathi has been given additionally the portfolio of Nutritious Noon Meal Programme.

Till now, Mr Sampath was holding this subject along with Rural Industries.

A press release issued by Ms Jayalalithaa in her capacity as general secretary of the AIADMK stated that R. Lakshmanan had been made the new secretary of the Villupuram (North) district.

He was hitherto secretary of the local unit of the medical wing.

  • He is also stripped of party post

  • Latest shuffle seventh since AIADMK came to power