Stalin sworn in as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, signs five orders fulfilling key election promises

Published : May 07, 2021 14:13 IST

M.K. Stalin, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, greets Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit during the swearing-in ceremony held in Chennai on May 7. Photo: S.R. RAGHUNATHAN

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M.K. Stalin was sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu today even as the debilitating COVID-19 pandemic raged in the State, claiming 195 lives on May 6. He is the third DMK leader to assume office as Chief Minister after C.N. Annadurai and M. Karunanidhi.

Stalin and 33 Ministers were sworn in at a ceremony in Raj Bhavan, attended by MLAs, MPs and officers numbering 700. The Chief Minister asserted that the first priority of the government would be to control the spread of the disease and ensure quality care for all the people affected by the pandemic.

The Ministry has 15 new faces and a senior DMK politician said that Stalin had tried to ensure regional and caste representation as much as possible. Coimbatore, a key western-belt district in the State did not elect any DMK representatives to the Assembly and, hence, there is no representation for that region in the ministry. The Cabinet has a blend of youth and experience and it is for the first time that a first-time Minister, P.T.R. Palanivel Thiagarajan, is being allotted the Finance portfolio.

Stalin signed five orders soon after assuming charge. As per one order, the government, through an insurance scheme, will pay for individuals undergoing treatment for COVID-19 infection in private hospitals. He also signed a file that granted Rs.4,000 per family as Corona relief for 2.07 crore poor families. This will cost the government over Rs.4,000 crore. The disbursement will be in two installments of Rs.2,000 each. The first one will be paid in May.

Women can travel in government-owned city and town buses free of charge from May 8. The government will make available a grant to the State-owned transport corporations to compensate for the loss on this account. Another election promise was the reduction in the price of the milk supplied by Aavin, the Tamil Nadu Milk Marketing Federation. The Chief Minister signed an order reducing the price of a litre by Rs. 3. This will be implemented from May 16. All complaints raised by the people will be acted on and disposed off within 100 days under the “Chief Minister in Your Constituency” scheme.

The DMK has been voted back to power in Tamil Nadu after a gap of 10 years. From 1989, the DMK and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIAMDK) have been elected alternately to office, but the AIADMK under Jayalalithaa pulled off a feat by winning back-to-back elections in 2011 and 2016.

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