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Udhayanidhi Stalin swon in as TN minister

Udhayanidhi Stalin swon in as TN minister

The ruling DMK's youth wing secretary and MLA, Udhayanidhi Stalin was sworn in as Minister by Tamil Nadu Governor  R N Ravi here on Wednesday and he was designated as Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development.

After taking oath of office, Udhayanidhi asserted he would answer criticism of 'family politics' through his work. Chief Minister  M K Stalin made a reshuffle of portfolios held by 10 Ministers and allocated the Special Programme Implementation (SPI) portfolio, held by him to Udhayanidhi.

In the presence of Chief Minister Stalin and his Cabinet colleagues, Udhayanidhi was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Ravi in a simple ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan. Later, flanked by senior Ministers Duraimurugan and KN Nehru, Udhayanidhi formally assumed office at the Secretariat on the premises of Fort St George here. All other Ministers including Anbil Mahesh, E V Velu and V Senthil Balaji and top officials were present.

While DMK's allies including Congress took part, the main opposition AIADMK, which has been accusing the ruling party of family politics, boycotted the function. Ravi greeted Udhayanidhi after administering him the oath. Udhayanidhi has been given the subjects of Youth Welfare, Sports Development, SPI Department and Poverty Alleviation Programme.

Senior Minister, I Periyasamy, who was reportedly not happy with his department of Cooperatives (Cooperation Department) was re-designated as Minister for Rural Development, which covers panchayats as well. Siva V Meyyanathan (Environment and Climate Change) previously held the Youth Welfare and Sport Development portfolio.

Rural Development Minister K R Periyakaruppan is re-designated as Minister for Cooperation and Forests Minister K Ramachandran is now Minister for Tourism. Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Minister PK Sekar Babu would also handle Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA). M Mathiventhan who held the Tourism department is the new Forests Minister.

Udhayanidhi Says

Speaking to reporters, Udhayanidhi said that he would not act in films henceforth and Mari Selvaraj directorial 'Maamannan' (meaning the emperor, the Tamil flick is expected to be released in 2023) shall be his last film. He said he had to turn down an offer from actor-producer Kamal Haasan to act in a film.

Criticism of family politics was nothing new to him and it was also unavoidable, he said, adding he would face it and answer the jibes aimed at him through his work. "Tell me if there are any grievances," he said.

Son of Chief Minister Stalin and MLA representing Chepauk-Tiruvallikeni constituency here, Udhayanidhi is the 35th Minister. In total, there are 35 Ministers including the Chief Minister. There are 234 MLAs in the Assembly.

Answering a question, he said his goal is to work towards making Tamil Nadu the nation's sports capital and ensure stadiums across the state as assured in the party's manifesto for the 2021 Assembly elections. Clad in his trademark folded-up, full-sleeve white shirt, with a popular logo of DMK's youth wing embossed on it, Udhayanidhi took the oath in Tamil, in a style that was characteristic of his father and party chief Stalin.

The youth wing logo sports a young man, on the move, holding atop the DMK's red and black flag. On his Twitter handle, Udhayanidhi said he would always work with a consciousness that it was a responsibility given to him and not a post. He took the blessings of his father and mother, Stalin and Durga Stalin.

The swearing-in ceremony was over in 10 minutes. The 45-year old leader, hailed by party workers as 'Chinnavar' (young leader) was congratulated by State Ministers and senior party leaders on his assumption of office.