A number of veterans of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) will make a comeback to the Tamil Nadu cabinet along with MK Stalin who would be sworn-in as the chief minister at the Raj Bhavan on Friday. Party old guards like Duraimurugan, KN Nehru, and M Subramanian will be given key portfolios in the new cabinet, while over a dozen shall be ministers for the first time. Chief Minister-designate Stalin’s list of persons to be appointed as ministers along with their portfolios has been approved by Governor Banwarilal Purohit, a Raj Bhavan release said.
A list of the 34 ministers was released on Thursday by the DMK which swept to power in the southern state after the recently concluded Assembly election. While Stalin would keep home department with himself, the crucial health portfolio will be go to Subramanian, a former mayor of Chennai.
Besides home, Stalin, who would assume office as Chief Minister for the first time, shall hold other portfolios including public, general administration, all India services, district revenue officers, special programme implementation and welfare of differently abled persons, the release said.
Party veteran and general secretary Duraimurugan, who had held portfolios like Public Works during the previous DMK regime (2006-11), would be Minister for Water Resources in charge of irrigation projects and others, including mines and minerals. Party’s north Chennai strongman PK Sekarbabu is among those who would be first-time ministers and has been allocated Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments. Palanivel Thiagarajan, a former investment banker, has been allocated Finance and Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi School Education department.
Thiagarajan and Poyyamozhi would be ministers for first time and belong to prominent families that spearheaded the Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu and also worked for the DMK for long. 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, K N Nehru has been named Minister for Municipal Administration, a department handled by 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, would now be Minister for Agriculture and Welfare of Farmers. KKSSR Ramachandran, another veteran and former Minister, would be the Revenue Minister.
Thangam Thennarasu, also former Minister, and S Reghupathy, former union mininster of state for environment, would 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 Developement, 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, CV 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), SS Sivasankar (Backward Classes Welfare), Siva V Meyyanathan (Environment), Gingee KS Masthan (Minorities Welfare) and S M Nasar (Dairy) are also first-timers.
(With PTI inputs)