Updated: May 8, 2021 10:03:12 pm
DMK chief MK Stalin has been sworn in as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. Along with Stalin, 33 ministers also took oath as cabinet and council ministers on Friday at Raj Bhavan.
Interestingly, a few strong portfolios have been given to leaders who were sacked and sidelined in AIADMK by erstwhile Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha and the EPS-OPS duo. A look at some of these entrants in Stalin’s cabinet.
E V Velu: Minister for Public Works (Buildings, Highways and Minor Ports)
E V Velu, who was fielded from Thiruvannamalai against BJP’s S Thanigaivel, posted a massive victory. The constituency was one of the 20 seats where the BJP fielded its candidates that Velu won with a margin of 94,673 votes. The DMK heavyweight received a total of 1,37,876 votes.
The 71-year-old Tamil literature degree holder started a a conductor and joined AIADMK when it was founded by MG Ramachandran in 1972. He had successfully contested from the Thandarampattu constituency in 1984. After MGR’s death in 1987, the party broke into two factions with Velu supporting V N Janaki Ramachandran. Due to the succession crisis in AIADMK, in the 1989 assembly election, DMK won and M Karunanidhi returned to power.
Soon after the elections, the two factions of AIADMK merged. Velu was, however, sidelined as he was associated with Janaki. Later, he left AIADMK for DMK and successfully contested the assembly elections from the Thandarampattu constituency twice, in 2001 and 2006. Then, from 2011 to 2021, he contested from Thiruvannamalai constituency and scored a hat-trick.
KSSR Ramachandran – Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management
KSSR Ramachandran, usually known as Sattur Ramachandran, has served as minister under two different CMs and held various portfolios. This time, he was fielded from Aruppukkottai constituency against Vaigai Selvan from AIADMK. He bagged 91,040 votes, defeating his rival with a margin of 37,134 votes. He has been given Revenue, District Revenue Establishment, Deputy Collectors, Disaster Management.
In his earlier years, he started a fan club for MG Ramachandran that was called ‘Thanga Kalasam MGR Rasigar Mandram’. After AIADMK was founded by MGR, KKSSR won from Sattur in 1977 and went on to serve as Minister for Cooperation and Public Works Department from 1984-87 in MGR’s cabinet.
After MGR’s death, he took Jayalalitha’s side and 32 MLAs who supported her had camped in Ramachandran’s spinning mill. Since then, was considered one of the close aides of Jayalalitha.
He later left AIADMK over some misunderstanding and kept away from politics for a while. Later, he joined iDMK and served as health minister, minister for backward class welfare between 2006 and 2011 in Karunanidhi’s cabinet.
S. Raghupathy: Minister for Law (Law, Courts, Prisons, and Prevention of Corruption)
The MLA from Thirumayam constituency, Pudukottai district, S. Ragupathy once contested from the same constituency as an AIADMK candidate in 1991 and served as minister for labour and employment in Jayalalitha’s cabinet. Later, he joined DMK and contested from Pudukottai Lok Sabha constituency in 2004 and served as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment and Forest in UPA I government.
This 70-year-old lawyer contested against PK Vairamuthu from AIADMK in the 2016 and 2021 elections. Ragupathy won the seat with a margin of just 1,382 votes; he had bagged 71,349 votes in total.
S Muthusamy: Minister for Housing and Urban Development
Muthuswamy is one of the ministers who had worked under both AIADMK chief ministers, MGR and Jayalalithaa. He is now all set to work under the third CM. In 1977, 1980 and 1984, he contested from Erode constituency on AIADMK ticket and served as a transport minister for eight years in MGR’s cabinet. In 1991, he contested from Bhavani and was appointed the health minister in Jayalalithaa’s cabinet. He quit AIADMK and joined DMK in 2010. In 2011, he contested from Erode East constituency and from Erode West in 2016, but lost both times to AIADMK rivals.
This time. AIADMK pitted former minister K V Ramalingam against Muthusamy in Erode West. The 72-year-old is one of the prominent political faces from Erode and one of the five ministers from Tamil Nadu’s west zone.
Anita R Radhakrishnan – Minister for Fisheries
One of the two ministers from Thoothukudi district, Radhakrishnan contested from Thiruchendur constituency. He contested from the same constituency in the 2001, 2006 assembly elections as an AIADMK candidate. Jayalalithaa gave him the portfolio of Animal Husbandry, Housing, and Urban Development in 2001. He resigned as MLA after some resentment with the party chief in 2009 and later joined DMK. After the resignation, the by-election for the constituency happened in 2009 and he was re-elected.
Radhakrishnan enjoys the record of winning elections from 2001 to 2021 with not a single loss.
He fought against AIADMK’s KRM Radhakrishnan who was defeated with a margin of 25,263 votes.
RS Raja Kannappan – Minister for Transport
Kannappan joined AIADMK in 1972 after MGR parted from DMK and formed a new party. After MGRs demise, he offered support to Jayalalithaa. In 1991, he contested from Thirupathur constituency election. From 1991-96, he worked as an Electricity minister, Minister for the Highways and Public Work Department.
The 57-year- old lawyer later formed the Makkal Tamil Desam party and allied with DMK and contested in the 2001 election. In 2006, he contested from the Ilayangudi constituency and won the seat. But soon after, he resigned and rejoined AIADMK. In the 2009 general election, he contested against P Chidambaram and lost.
In the 2014 general election, he was appointed the south Tamil Nadu election In-charge, and in the 2016 assembly elections, he was appointed election in-charge for AIADMK by Jayalalithaa. But the EPS-OPS duo denied him a ticket to contest from either Ramnad or Sivagangai constituency in the 2019 general election.
Owning to resentment with party leaders, he met MK Stalin and lent his support for the general election. In February 2020, he joined DMK, and was fielded from the Muthukulathur constituency in the Ramnad district. He received 101,901 votes and defeated AIADMK candidate Keerthika Muniasamy with a margin of 20,721 votes.
Kannappan is going to serve as a minister again after a gap of 30 years.
V Senthil Balaji – Minister for Electricity, Prohibition & Excise
The 46-year-old minister started his political career as a local body councilor in 1996 from DMK. Later, he joined AIADMK and fought the 2006 and 2011 elections from Karur. He served as a Minister of Electricity between 2011 and 2016. In the 2016 election, he contested from Aravakurichi and secured the seat. But, after Jayalalithaa’s death, he was one among the 19 MLAs who supported the TTV Dhinakaran faction and was disqualified under the Tamil Nadu anti-defection act.
Later, he joined DMK and contested from Karur constituency and won the seat for the third time. Senthil Balaji’s victory is considered as the DMK’s recapturing moment of Karur after 25 years.
Senthil Balaji has contested election five times and has won each time. In the 16th assembly election, he contested against AIADMK Transport minister MR Vijayabaskar and bagged 1,01,757 votes, and defeated the minister with a margin of 12,448 votes.
P K Sekarbabu: Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments
This MLA from Harbour constituency fought against BJP candidate Vinoj P Selvam. He bagged 59,317 votes, defeating his rival with a margin of 27,274 votes. One of the smallest constituencies in Tamil Nadu, Harbour has been DMK stronghold since 1977 until 2011 when AIADMK candidate Pala Karuppaiah won from the seat.
Sekarbabu is a relative of the Presidium Chairman of the AIADMK E Madhusudhanan and worked as AIADMK’s North Chennai secretary.
With the influence of Madhusudhanan, Sek Babu was part of Jayalalithaa’s close circles and contested for the party from Radhakrishnan Nagar in the 2001 and 2006 assembly elections and won.
But in 2006, he staged a protest against the DMK regime at the time. He was involved in a tussle with DMK functionaries in the 2006 urban local body elections and arrested. Later, Jayalalithaa sacked him and his supporters one by one from the party. In January 2011, he joined DMK with his supporters. He contested again in the 2011 elections from the Radhakrishnan Nagar constituency but lost. But in 2016, he helped the DMK secure a remarkable victory in the Harbour constituency.
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