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Thursday, February 15, 2007

lCM To Hold Industry, IT, Anbazhagan Finance

A 31-member DMK ministry, headed by DMK president, Mr M Karunanidhi as the chief minister, will be sworn-in on Saturday. Tamil Nadu governor, Mr S S Barnala will swear in the new cabinet at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, behind Rippon Building, which houses the offices of Chennai Corporation. The new cabinet will be the largest for Tamil Nadu, with one out of every three newly elected MLAs of the party set to become ministers. The outgoing AIADMK cabinet had 26 ministers. The 31-member list, released by Raj Bhavan, consists of 18 new faces. including a couple of first time members of the house. Even while the thrust is on inducting fresh faces, DMK has retained 13 party stalwarts, including 10 of them who were ministers in the earlier DMK government between 1996 and ‘01. “The idea is to give representation to almost all the 30 districts in the state, except for Chennai, which has more representations in the cabinet. The objective is to strengthen the party base further across the state,” highly placed sources in the party said. With quite a few party stalwarts, including Karunanidhi (Chepauk), party secretary, K Anbazhagan (Harbour) and party treasurer, Mr Arcot N Veerasamy (Anna Nagar) and Stalin elected from Chennai, the city alone has five representations in the cabinet. The cabinet list includes former speaker, PTR Palanivel Rajan (Madurai Central) and former deputy speaker of the assembly Parithi Ilamvazhuthi. The most prominent name that figures in the list is that of Mr M K Stalin (Thousand Lights in the city), son of the DMK president. Tipped to take over the mantle, as and when the need arises, Mr Stalin will become a minister for the first time. The list includes two Muslim minorities - Mr S N M Upayathulla (Thanjavur) and T P M Moideen Khan (Palayankotai) and three women candidates - Dr Poongothai (Alangulam), daughter of Mr Aladi Aruna, a former DMK minister, Ms Geetha Jeevan (Tuticorin), daughter of DMK Tuticorin district secretary, Mr Periasamy and Ms Tamilarasi (Samayanallur). Among the other former DMK ministers, whose names once again figure in the present list include Mr Ko Si Mani (Kumbakonam), Mr Veerapandi Arumugham (Salem II), Mr Durai Murugan (Katpadi), Mr K Ponmudi (Villupuram), Mr K N Nehru (Tiruchi II), Mr M R K Panneerselvam (Kurinjipadi), Mr I Periasami (Athur) and Mr N Suresh Rajan (Kanyakumari). “Except in the case of two former ministers - Veerapandi Arumugham and Durai Murugan, who retain their portfolio, the portfolios of all others have been changed,” the sources said. Earlier, the 93 newly elected members of the DMK met at the party headquarters here in Chennai on Friday morning and elected Mr Karunanidhi as the legislature party leader in the assembly. The state governor, Mr Barnala later invited Mr Karunanidhi to form the next government, following submission of letters, extending their support for the DMK government, by DMK’s allied parties in the DPA including Congress, PMK and the two Communist parties.

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