Chennai: Heralding the return of the DMK government for the sixth time after a gap of ten years, a 34-member Cabinet headed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin assumed office on Friday.
Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oath of office and secrecy to Stalin and his Council of Ministers at a simple function held at Raj Bhavan.
DMK cadres across the state celebrated the occasion by bursting crackers and distributing sweets.
As Chief Minister, Stalin will handle the portfolios of Public General Administration, IAS, IPS, other All India Service, District Revenue Officers, Police, Home, Special Incentives, Special Programme Implementation and Welfare of Differently-abled persons.
While veteran leader and DMK general secretary Duraimurugan is designated number two in the Cabinet with the portfolio of Water Resources, former Chennai Mayor Ma Subramanian is the new Minister for Medical and Family Welfare and will handle Health Department.
Subramanian has been assigned the key portfolio of health at a challenging time when the daily COVID case load inched closer to the 25,000 mark in the State, including more than 6,500 in Chennai alone.
Madurai Central MLA Palanivel Thiagarajan, who is the son of former DMK leader PTR Palanivel Rajan, was entrusted with the finance portfolio.
Later, talking to a TV channel after taking oath, he said several innovative measures were needed to correct the State’s financial position, when went bad during the last few years.
He said ‘Standard methods cannot bring back the state finances to comfortable levels…it needs some innovative measures’.
The 34-member Cabinet included DMK veterans, who had served in the previous M Karunanidhi Cabinet, besides 15 new faces and two women.
The only two women representatives in the Cabinet are former Minister P. Geetha Jeevan, now the Minister for Social Welfare and Women Empowerment), who was part of the DMK Cabinet between 2006 and 2011, and new face Kayalvizhi Selvaraj, who was made Adi Dravidar Welfare Minister.
The size of the Cabinet was four more than that of the outgoing Edappadi K.Palaniswami Ministry.
Prominent leaders, who were in attendance at the swearing in ceremony included actor-politician and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Hasan, MDMK general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP Vaiko and AIADMK coordinator, former Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and senior BJP leader L Ganesan.
After taking oath, Stalin, accompanied by party leaders, paid tributes at the memorial of his father and former DMK Chief M Karunanidhi and C N Annadurai on the Marina beach front and at the memorial of Rationalist leader Periyar.
He also visited the Gopalapuram residence of Mr Karunanidhi and sought blessings from his mother. Later, he proceeded to the State Secretariat and assumed charge by signing important files as part of fulfilling his party’s poll promises.