Udhayanidhi Stalin, DMK’s youth wing leader and son of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, will be inducted into the state cabinet on December 14. A reshuffle of the portfolios held by some ministers would also be undertaken on that day.
A Raj Bhavan press release on Monday evening said, the Chief Minister has recommended to the Governor to induct Mr Udhayanidhi, who represents Chepauk-Thiruvallikanni constituency, in the Council of Ministers. “The Governor has approved the recommendation,” the release said adding the swearing-in ceremony would be held at 9.30 am on Wednesday at the Durbar Hall in Raj Bhavan.
“He will be allotted the portfolios of Youth Welfare and Sports Development and Special Programme Implementation,” a highly-placed source in the DMK told The Hindu. The portfolios of Youth Welfare and Sports Development are held by Siva V. Meyyanathan, who is also the minister for Environment and Climate Change. The department of Special Programme Implementation is directly handled by Mr. Stalin.
The rising son
Mr. Udhayanidhi, who started off as a film producer and distributor, took to acting over 10 years ago and became a familiar face. Though he had initially stayed away from active politics, he was designated as one of the DMK’s star campaigners during the 2019 Lok Sabha election, when he criss-crossed the state holding roadshows
Later, he was given leadership of the party youth wing, a post his father had successfully held for many years.
While it was widely speculated that like Mr. Stalin, he would be fielded in the Mayoral elections in Chennai, he instead entered the Assembly in 2021 from a constituency, which had thrice elected his grandfather and former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.
Ever since the DMK formed the government, his supporters and even senior cabinet ministers had been voicing views in support of inducting Mr. Udhayanidhi in the Cabinet. The chorus had become louder last month when he turned 45.
In comparison with his father’s political career, who had to patiently wait under the shadows of his father proving his ability to handle different organisational and elected responsibilities at every stage; for Mr. Udhayanidhi the rise within the party and government has been quicker and free of hurdles.
Sources said Mr. Stalin has also decided to shuffle a few portfolios and I. Periysamy, Minister for Cooperation would be made Minister for Rural Development. K.R. Periyakaruppan, Minister for Rural Development would become Minister for Cooperation.
K. Ramachandran, Minister for Forests, is expected to be divested of his portfolio and made Minister for Tourism. Dr M. Mathiventhan, Minister for Tourism, is likely to become Minister for Forests.