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Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin, who was sworn in as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu on Friday, announced bringing Covid treatment in private hospitals under a government insurance scheme to provide relief to people plus Rs 2,000 as Covid time relief, a Rs 3 cut in Aavin milk price and free travel for women in state-run buses, among other welfare measures.
Issuing his first set of orders after taking over as CM, Stalin, who is also the president of Dravida Munnetra Kazhakam (DMK), the main opposition party for the last ten years, announced constituting an IAS officer-headed department to implement the ‘Chief Minister in Your Constituency’ scheme, to fulfill another assurance of redressing people’s issues within 100 days of taking over, on petitions received by him.
In the pre-poll campaign, the DMK had promised Rs 4,000 for rice ration card holders to aid people affected due to the pandemic and help them with their livelihood.
“To implement that promise, the chief minister has signed the order to provide the first instalment of Rs 2,000 in May itself entailing an outgo of Rs 4,153.69 crore, covering 2.07 crore ration card holders,” an official statement by the Tamil Nadu government said.
Stalin, son of late DMK patriarch Karunanidhi, also signed another order, reducing the price of milk supplied by state-run Aavin by Rs 3 with effect from May 16.
The statement said women can now travel free of cost in all ordinary fare city buses operated by state transport corporation from Saturday onwards and the government has allocated a sum of Rs 1,200 crore as subsidy for this purpose.
Effecting a regime change, the state governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oath of office and secrecy to 68-year-old Stalin, who is kicking off his first stint as CM, in a simple ceremony at the Raj Bhavan. A total of 33 ministers were also sworn in following Stalin, of whom 15 are first-time ministers. All the 34,including Stalin took the oath as per their conscience and in Tamil, in sync with the decades old tradition of the DMK.
Home and other portfolios including public, general administration, all India services, district revenue officers, special programme implementation and welfare of differently abled persons are with Stalin. Palanivel Thiagarajan, a former investment banker, is the state finance minister .
Veteran KKSSR Ramachandran is the minister for revenue and disaster management. Noted local party leader and former Chennai mayor, Ma Subramanian is minister for health, family welfare. K Ponmudi is minister for higher education, Thangam Thnnaarasu, the minister for industries and P K Sekarbabu is the minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department.
V Senthil Balaji, who was transport minister between 2011 and 2015 during the previous AIADMK government, headed by J Jayalalithaa, and who joined the DMK in 2018, is minister for electricity. MRK Panneerselvam is the minister for agriculture and farmers welfare while E V Velu gets public works portfolio.
The cabinet has two women ministers, P Geetha Jeevan, a former minister, who has been given social welfare and women empowerment and N Kayalvizhi Selvaraj who has been designated as the minister for Adi Dravidar welfare.