Karunanidhi makes Stalin Deputy Chief Minister

Chennai,May 30: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s son and Local Administration Minister, M.K. Stalin, has been re-designated as Deputy Chief Minister, making him next in the line of succession, and number two in government.

A Raj Bhavan press release said on Friday: “On the advice of the Hon. Chief Minister, His Excellency the Governor has appointed Thiru M.K. Stalin, Minister for Rural Development and Local Administration, as Deputy Chief Minister.

“The subjects General Administration, District Revenue Officers, Industries, Minorities Welfare, Passports, Special Initiatives and Social Reforms hitherto held by the Chief Minister are re-allocated to Thiru.M.K. Stalin…in addition to the subjects now held by him.”

In a press release earlier, Mr. Karunanidhi said he had been confined to a wheel-chair ever since a surgery. He also recalled that after he campaigned for the Lok Sabha election in Tiruchi and after he attended a few marriage functions, he again had to be admitted to hospital for treatment. Consequently, he had to cancel his campaigning.

Because of the illness, he said, he was unable to fully concentrate on issues of governance.

“Each week, decisions have to be made after perusing over 100 files. Apart form this, there was a lot of work on the newly created welfare boards and also in government departments and this required extensive discussions and spot visits.”

He said he had enquired with the Finance Minister and DMK general secretary, K. Anbazhagan, if he was willing to take up these responsibilities. Mr. Anbazhagan declined it, citing health reasons and hence the responsibility of some important portfolios was handed over to Mr. Stalin. Mr.

Anbazhagan would continue to be the leader of the House in the Assembly, Mr. Karunanidhi said.

Official said that since the post involved only a re-designation and re-allocation of portfolios, there was no need for any fresh swearing in.

Most partymen and Ministers had no inkling of the decision in the morning even after the Union Ministers from the DMK met the Chief Minister at the party headquarters.

On assuming the additional responsibility, Mr. Stalin said: “I’ve always consulted the Chief Minister while taking decisions. I will continue to do so.” He, along with his well-wishers, met Mr. Karunanidhi and sought his blessings.