'I, Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin'... MK Stalin sworn in as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister

'I, Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin'... MK Stalin sworn in as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
MK Stalin, leader of the DMK, took oath as Tamil Nadu’s 23rd Chief Minister on May 7, 2021. This was followed by the swearing in of 33 members of his cabinet. Stalin, son of late DMK supremo and former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, has assumed the state’s highest office for the first time, in a simple ceremony presided by Governor Banwarilal Purohit at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Friday. The Governor administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 68-year old leader, who chose to read out his full name Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin, to the delight of his supporters and well-wishers in the audience. Watched on by his wife Durga, who became emotional during in the swearing-in, and son and first-time MLA Udhayanidhi Stalin in the audience, Stalin and 33 other members of his cabinet took oath in the name of their conscience and not in the name of god, as is practice. A number of leaders including from those in the opposition such former Deputy CM and AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam and MNM chief Kamal Haasan were present at the ceremony. Leaders from the DMK alliance such as Congress’ P Chidambaram MDMK chief Vaiko and top state officials took part in the ceremony. The ceremony witnessed adherence to COVID-19 guidelines including wearing masks. Stalin shall hold Home and other portfolios including Public, General Administration, All India Services, District Revenue Officers, Special Programme Implementation and Welfare of Differently Abled Persons. In fact, the names of certain departments have been rechristened. It includes Agriculture Department which shall now be Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. MRK Panneerselvam, who was a minister in Karunanidhi’s cabinet, will be Minister for Agriculture and Welfare of Farmers. DMK veteran and General Secretary Duraimurugan, who had held portfolios like Public Works during Karunanidhi’s rule (2006-11), is Minister for Water Resources in charge of irrigation projects and others including mines and minerals. Duraimurugan is among 18 former Ministers who have been inducted in the Cabinet. Former Chennai Mayor Ma Subramanian and party's north Chennai strongman, PK Sekarbabu are among the 15 who would be 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 are 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. The cabinet has two women ministers, P Geetha Jeevan, a former minister, who has been given social welfare and women empowerment and N Kayalvizhi Selvaraj who has been designated Minister for Adi Dravidar Welfare. Kayalvizhi, who will be a first time minister, had trounced BJP Tamil Nadu unit chief L Murugan from Dharapuram constituency. V Senthil Balaji, who was Transport Minister between 2011 and 2015 during the previous AIADMK government led by J Jayalalithaa and who joined the DMK in 2018, has been given the Electricity Department and portfolios of Prohibition and Excise. Tiruchirappalli-based party strongman and former Minister, KN Nehru has been named Minister for Municipal Administration, a department handled by Stalin during the party's previous tenure. KKSSR Ramachandran, another veteran and former Minister, is now the Revenue Minister. I Periyasamy, who was Revenue Minister in his previous stint in government, has been appointed 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. Thangam Thennarasu, also former Minister, and S Reghupathy, former Union Mininster of State for Environment, are Ministers for Industries and Law respectively. K R Periakaruppan, T M Anbarasan, M P Saminathan, all former Ministers, have also been named ministers and allotted the departments of Rural Development, Rural Industries and Information and Publicity. K Ramachandran, a former Minister, has been given the Forests Department. S Muthusamy (Housing), Anita R Radhakrishnan (Fisheries) and S R Rajakannappan (Transport) are among the others who form part of the 34-member Cabinet. C V Ganesan (Labour), T Mano Thangaraj (Information Technology), M Mathiventhan (Tourism) are among the first time Ministers. R Sakkarapani (Food), R Gandhi (Handlooms and Textiles), P Moorthy (Commercial 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. Years ago, KKSSR Ramachandran, S Reghupathy, S Muthusamy, S R Rajakannappan, Anita R Radhakrishnan, V Senthil Balaji and P K Sekarbabu had all been with the AIADMK. Barring Sekarbabu, others had also served as ministers in the AIADMK government. Ramachandran had been a Minister during the DMK rule (2006-11) as well. (With inputs from PTI) Watch the swearing-in ceremony here:

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