DMK president M.K. Stalin was sworn in as chief minister of Tamil Nadu at Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Friday. The 68-year-old Stalin was sworn in along with his 33-member cabinet in a low-key ceremony by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit.
The governor administered the oath of office and secrecy to Stalin and 33 cabinet ministers including party seniors like S. Durai Murugan as water resources minister, K.N. Nehru as municipal administration minister, I. Periasamy as cooperation minister, K. Ponmudi as higher education department minister, E.V. Velu as the minister for public works and highways, M.R.K. Panneerselvam as the minister for agriculture and farmers’ welfare, Thangam Thennarasu for industries, Ma Subramanian as the minister of health, P Thiaga Rajan as the minister of finance, Mahesh Poyyamozhi as the minister of school education, M.P. Saminathan as minister for information and public relations and S. Reghupathy as the minister of law, courts, prisons and prevention of corruption.
As he took oath, Stalin read his name as ‘Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin’, indicating his proud lineage and declaring he was the only political heir of M. Karunanidhi. Leaders of DMK allies, including the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri, former Union minister P. Chidambaram, MDMK chief Vaiko, VCK president Thol Thirumavalavan, CPI(M) state secretary K. Balakrishnan and CPI state secretary R. Mutharasan were present at the swearing-in. Former deputy chief minister O. Panneerselvam and former Assembly speaker P. Dhanapal also took part in the swearing-in on behalf of AIADMK. PMK president G.K. Mani was also present. Actor and MNM founder Kamal Haasan, along with APJ Abdul Kalam’s former adviser V Ponraj and BJP senior leader Ila Ganesan took part in the event. Members of the DMK first family including Stalin’s wife Durga Stalin, son Udhayanidhi Stalin and his nephew and M.K. Alagiri’s son, Durai Dayanidhi, were present in the event.
Stalin’s new cabinet is a mixed bag of old guards and new faces. The cabinet has 15 new faces including Thiaga Rajan, Ma Subramanian and Mahesh Poyyamozhi and two women members—P Geetha Jeevan and N. Kayalvizhi Selvaraj. It also has V. Senthil Balaji and Anitha R. Radhakrishnan who were once in Jayalalithaa’s cabinet.
Stalin has taken oath at a time when Tamil Nadu is at a political crossroads and facing a raging pandemic. With the challenges ahead, Stalin and his cabinet will be getting to work immediately.