Today's Paper

Dhanabal and 2 other ministers dropped

Dhanapal.

Dhanapal.  

Chennai Nov. 9. In the ninth Cabinet reshuffle of the 18-month-old AIADMK regime, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, today sacked three ministers and roped five MLAs including a Muslim nominee, A. Anwar Rhazza, into her 27-member Ministry. Within 10 days of the monsoon session of the Assembly, the Chief Minister axed the Food Minister, P. Dhanabal; the Labour Minister, Va.Thu.Natarajan, and the Backward Classes Minister, D. Sudarsanam.

While Mr. Dhanabal appears to have incurred her displeasure with his dispirited defence of the increase in PDS rice price when the Opposition moved a censure motion in the House, Mr. Natarajan came up with a boringly lengthy speech, leaving her visibly impatient. The Gummudipoondi MLA, Mr. Sudarsanam's exit apparently follows complaints from party workers from Tiruvallur district at the AIADMK founding day meeting last month. . With Chennai reeling under rain and the civic administration virtually caught napping, the Chief Minister has stripped the Local Administration Minister, M.C. Sampath, of his Housing portfolio, possibly to enable him to focus on relief works. Instead, Anitha R. Radhakrishan, who was till now the Animal Husbandry Minister, has been vested with Housing Town Planning, Slum Clearance, Accommodation Control, Urban Development and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority.

On the other hand, "performers" such as Mr. Anwar Rhazza, who made a spirited defence of the law against forcible conversions, have been rewarded with reinduction. The victim of the fifth reshuffle on March 1 this year, soon after Ms. Jayalalithaa returned to power, Mr. Rhazza is now a beneficiary of the ninth shake-up. The return of the Ramanathapuram MLA as Labour, Wakf and Employment Minister is possibly Ms. Jayalalithaa's answer to the Opposition charge of her being anti-minority.

Natarajan

Natarajan  

In yet another reinduction, the Orathanadu MLA, R. Vaithilingam, who was dropped in the first reshuffle on June 9 last year, has been given a weighty portfolio of Forests and Environment. The three new faces are: the Pongalur MLA, P.V. Damodaran, the Kulithalai MLA, A. Pappasundaram, who will be the Backward Classes Minister in the place of Mr. Sudarsanam; and the Vaniyambadi MLA, R.Vadivel, who takes over Rural and Small Scale Industries from Nainar Nagendran, who already holds the portfolios of Electricity and Industries. Mr. Damodaran has been vested with Animal Husbandry, till now held by Mr. Anitha R. Radhakrishnan.

Sudarsanam.

Sudarsanam.  

The reshuffle also finds the Forest Minister, P. Mohan, with a new and sensitive portfolio of Food, Cooperation and Civil Supplies.

Recommended for you