Tamil Nadu Assembly elections | Tamil Nadu

Stalin retains veterans, adds 15 new faces in T.N. Cabinet

Victory banner: DMK cadres putting up a poster of party president M.K. Stalin in Chennai on Monday.  

DMK president M.K. Stalin, who will be sworn in Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on Friday, will head a 34-member Cabinet that includes veterans and 15 new faces and just two women. The Cabinet size is four more than that of the outgoing Edappadi K. Palaniswami Ministry.

While old warhorse and party general secretary Duraimurugan will be the number two in the Cabinet, handling the newly established Department of Water Resources, the focus — in the midst of the raging second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic — is on former Chennai Mayor Ma Subramanian, who has been appointed Minister for Medical and Family Welfare, including the Health portfolio. In the pecking order of the Cabinet, though, he is at number 22.

Mr. Duraimurugan will also handle the portfolios of Minor Irrigation, Assembly, Governor and Cabinet, Elections, Passport, Minerals and Mines.

Stalin retains veterans, adds 15 new faces in T.N. Cabinet

Palanivel Thiagarajan, son of former Speaker P.T.R. Palanivel Rajan, who holds an MBA in Finance from the Sloan School of Management at MIT and was an investment banker with Lehman Brothers and later with Standard Chartered in Singapore, is set to make his debut in the Cabinet, holding the key portfolio of Finance and Human Resource Management.

He will equally have his task cut out handling the State’s debt burden, projected to cross ₹5 lakh crore in 2021-22.

Interestingly, Mr. Stalin has retained the Special Initiatives and Special Programme Implementation portfolios, indicating that he would like to directly monitor them.

He will also hold the portfolio of Welfare of Differently Abled Persons.

The women representatives are P. Geetha Jeevan (Minister for Social Welfare and Women Empowerment), who was part of the DMK Cabinet between 2006 and 2011, and Kayalvizhi Selvaraj (number 34 in the Cabinet order), who will handle the Department of Adi Dravidar Welfare.

The first meeting of the Cabinet will be held on Friday evening, sources said.

DMK principal secretary K.N. Nehru, who had ensured a clean sweep for the party in Tiruchi, will handle Municipal Administration, Urban and Water Supply, portfolios which were handled by Mr. Stalin during 2006-11.

While K. Ponmudi has been given Higher Education Department, which he held in the previous DMK government, the party’s resourceful leader from Tiruvannamalai E.V. Velu has been made Minister for Public Works (Buildings, Highways and Minor Ports).

Senior leader I. Periyasamy, who won the election with a record margin of over 1.35 lakh votes, has been made the Minister for Co-operatives, Statistics and Ex-servicemen Welfare.

Though the DMK fared poorly in western Tamil Nadu, four MLAs from the region have been given representation in the Cabinet.

Mr. Stalin’s team will also see the return of S. Muthusamy (Housing and Urban Development) and Rajakannappan (Transport), who will be becoming Ministers after a gap of 25 years. Both served under Jayalalithaa during her first innings (1991-96) as Chief Minister. Mr. Muthusamy will have also the distinction of being a member of the Cabinets headed by three Chief Ministers — M.G. Ramachandran & Jayalalithaa, both AIADMK, and Mr. Stalin. In all, eight of the minister-designates have their origins in the AIADMK.

Thangam Thennarasu, who spearheaded reforms in School Education in the Karunanidhi government, has been given Industries, Tamil Development, Culture and Archaeology portfolios.

Mahesh Poyyamozhi, a youth wing leader and close friend of Mr. Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin, will hold the portfolio of School Education.

Senthil Balaji, a former AIADMK Minister, who had joined the DMK in December 2018, has been given the portfolios of Electricity, Non-conventional energy sources development, Prohibition and Excise and Molasses. He had defeated Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabhaskar in Karur.

Anitha Radhakrishnan gets Fisheries Development while P.K. Sekar Babu, who too had origins in the AIADMK, gets the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department.

Since two senior DMK leaders from the south — Suresh Rajan and S. Austin — lost the election, Mano Thangaraj, who was elected from Padmanabhapuram constituency in Kanniyakumari has been accommodated in the Cabinet with the portfolio of Information Technology.

R. Sakkarapani, DMK whip in the outgoing House, has been inducted into the Cabinet with the portfolios of Food, Civil Supplies, Consumer Protection and Price Control.

Avadi S.M. Nasar, who defeated Tamil Minister Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan is the Minister of Dairy Development. C.V. Ganesan, a senior MLA from Thittakudi constituency, is the Minister of Labour.

S.S. Sivasankar is the Backward Classes Minister.

Gingee K.S. Masthan will head the Department of Minorities Welfare and Non Residents Tamil Welfare.

M.P. Saminathan, who headed the Highways Department during 2006-11, is back as Information Minister. T.M. Anbarasan has been allotted Rural Industries.

Former HR&CE Minister K.R. Periyakaruppan will now hold the portfolio of Rural Development while former Union Minister S. Reghupathy has been allotted Law, Courts and Prisons.

The other minister-designates are K. Ramachandran (Forests), R. Gandhi (Handlooms and Textiles), P. Moorthy (Commercial Taxes and Registration), Siva V Meyyanathan (Environment, Youth Welfare and Sports Development) and M Mathiventhan (Tourism).

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 6:10:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/stalin-retains-veterans-adds-15-new-faces-in-tn-cabinet/article34502878.ece

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