DMK chief MK Stalin was sworn in as the new chief minister of Tamil Nadu on Friday along with 33 members of his Cabinet. The event at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai was a simple ceremony due to Covid-19 restrictions in place. Stalin's wife Durga Stalin and son Udhyanidhi Stalin and sister Kanimozhi were present during the ceremony. Udhyanidhi Stalin had made his political debut this year and won from Chennai's Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni assembly seat.
Political strategist Prashant Kishor was also present at the event. Stalin, who's 69-year-old, has assumed the office as Chief Minister for the first time. Stalin was also sworn in as the home minister of the state. He'll also hold other portfolios like administrative and police service, special programmes and welfare of differently-abled persons. Stalin's Cabinet, including him, is 34-member strong and he has retained senior leaders like Duraimurugan and over a dozen will be ministers for the first time.
Party veteran and general secretary Duraimurugan, who had held portfolios like Public Works during the previous DMK regime (2006-11), is the new Minister for Water Resources in charge of irrigation projects and others, including mines and minerals. Former Chennai Mayor Ma Subramanian and the party's north Chennai strongman PK Sekarbabu are among those who are first-time ministers.
Subramanian and Sekarbabu have been allocated the departments of Health and Family Welfare and Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments respectively. Palanivel Thiagarajan, a former investment banker, has been allocated Finance and Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi School Education department.
Thiagarajan and Poyyamozhi would be ministers for the first time and belong to prominent families that spearheaded the Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu and also worked for the DMK for a long time. V Senthil Balaji, who was a transport minister between 2011 and 2015 during the previous AIADMK regime led by J Jayalalithaa and who joined the DMK in 2018, has been given the Electricity Department.
Tiruchirappalli based party strongman and former Minister, KN Nehru has been named Minister for Municipal Administration, a department handled by MK Stalin during the party's previous tenure. I Periyasamy, who was Revenue Minister in his previous stint in government, has been designated Minister for Cooperation. K Ponmudi has got back the higher education department he had held during 2006-11.
Tiruvannamalai's party heavyweight, EV Velu, who was Food Minister previously, has been named Minister for Public Works. MRK Panneerselvam, also a former Minister, will now be Minister for Agriculture and Welfare of Farmers. KKSSR Ramachandran, another veteran and former Minister, will be the Revenue Minister.
Thangam Thennarasu, also former Minister, and S Reghupathy, former union minister of state for environment, will-be ministers for industries and law respectively. KR Periakaruppan, TM Anbarasan, MP Saminathan, all former Ministers, have also been named ministers and allotted the departments of Rural Development, Rural Industries and Information and Publicity.
P Geetha Jeevan (ex-minister) has been named Minister for social welfare and women empowerment. S Muthusamy (Housing), Anita R Radhakrishnan (Fisheries), SR Rajakannappan (Transport), K Ramachandran (Forests) are among the others who form part of the 34-member Cabinet. Former MP, C V Ganesan (Labour Welfare), T Mano Thangaraj (Information Technology), M Mathiventhan (Tourism) and N Kayalvizhi Selvaraj (who trounced BJP Tamil Nadu unit chief L Murugan in Dharapuram segment by a margin of 1,393 votes) has been given Adi Dravidar Welfare and are among the first time Ministers. R Sakkarapani (Food), R Gandhi (Handlooms and Textiles), P Moorthy (Comercial Taxes), S S Sivasankar (Backward Classes Welfare), Siva V Meyyanathan (Environment), Gingee K S Masthan (Minorities Welfare) and S M Nasar (Dairy) are also first-timers.
With PTI inputs