MK Stalin takes oath
CHENNAI: DMK president M K Stalin was sworn in as chief minister of Tamil Nadu at a low-key ceremony on the lawns of Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Friday morning.
The 68-year-old Stalin steered the party to power after a remarkable victory in 2019 general elections. It is the sixth time that the DMK is forming a government in Tamil Nadu.
The DMK won 125 seats, while four from the MDMK, two from the MMK, one each from the TVK and the KNMK won on the DMK’s rising sun symbol, taking the tally to 133 in the 234-member assembly.
Clad in impeccable white shirt and dhoti, the DMK leader took oath of office and secrecy in Tamil. Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oath of office and secrecy.
The governor also administered the oath of office and secrecy to 33 ministers, including senior members S Duraimurugan (water resources), K N Nehru (municipal administration), I Periasamy (cooperation), K Ponmudi (higher education), E V Velu (public works) and MRK Panneerselvam (agriculture and farmer’s welfare). Thangam Thennarasu will steer the industries while former Union minister S Reghupathy will be in charge of law, courts, prisons and prevention of corruption.
The leaders of DMK allies, including the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K S Alagiri, MDMK chief Vaiko, VCK president Thol Thirumavalavan, CPM state secretary K Balakrishnan and CPI state secretary R Mutharasan were present at the swearing-in ceremony.
Former deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and former assembly speaker P Dhanapal represented the AIADMK at the event. The PMK was represented by its president G K Mani.
The BJP was represented by L Ganesan MP. Actor and MNM president Kamal Haasan and political strategist Prashant Kishor were also present.
The members of DMK’s first family were present and notable presence was the first-time MLA and Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi and M K Alagari’s son Dhayanidhi and daughter Kayalvizhi. Alagiri had greeted Stalin on the eve of swearing in ceremony, in an indication of a patch-up between the siblings.
The erstwhile AIADMK heavyweights inducted in Stalin’s cabinet are the nine-time MLA and former minister in MGR Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi’s cabinets KKSSR Ramachandran, S Muthusamy, who served in MGR and Jayalalithaa’s cabinets, Anitha S Radhakrishnan, SR Rajakannappan and V Senthilbalaji.
The cabinet has 15 new faces and two women members, P Geetha Jeevan and N Kayalvizhi Selvaraj, who defeated BJP state president L Murugan in Dharapuram assembly seat.