Stalin takes charge, announces sops; team mix of old, new faces


DMK leader MK Stalin, 68, was administered the oath as the CM of Tamil Nadu, along with a 33-member Cabinet, by Governor Banwarilal Purohit in a simple ceremony on the lawns of Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Friday. Stalin, took oath as ‘Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin’, invoking the name of his father, a 5-time CM of the state. Soon after assuming office, Stalin and his cabinet colleagues paid homage at the memorial of Dravidian stalwarts and even visited his late father’s Gopalapuram residence where he turned emotional.

However, once he reached Fort St George, the seat of power in Tamil Nadu, he got into action mode. In his first decision, he signed 5 files to fulfil some of the major electoral promises he had made. As per his order, now Rs4,000 will be given to all rice ration card holders in the state as Covid-19 relief. Of this, Rs2,000 will be disbursed this month itself. Besides, beginning Saturday, all women would be allowed free travel city buses (which collect ordinary fare) run by the State Transport Corporations across Tamil Nadu.

In other sops, he announced the price of the state produced Aavin milk will be slashed by Rs3 a litre beginning May 16. Besides, he expanded the scope of the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Care Scheme to cover treatment for Covid-19 in private hospitals too for its beneficiaries. Stalin appointed an IAS officer Shilpa Prabhakar Satish to exclusive deal with the petitions he had received during his campaign period and redress them within 100 days of assuming power as promised.

Day 1 was hectic for the CM, who also replaced Chief Secretary Rajiv Ranjan with Irai Anbu, who was earlier in the Chief Minister’s Cell during his father Karunanidhi’s last regime. He also set up a new team of officers in his CM office. Besides, he held a videoconferencing with district collectors to review the Covid situation and wrote to PM Modi to supply adequate oxygen to the state.

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