Chennai: Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, the banker-turned-politician who gained nationwide attention with his command on finances and economic issues and strong attack of the right wing, on Thursday lost his Finance and Human Resources Management portfolios in a Cabinet rejig by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin. He will now handle the Information Technology portfolio.
The DMK Files
The divestment of portfolios of the foreign educated Rajan came against the backdrop of the State BJP president K Annamalai recently releasing two short audio clips attributed to him. The voice in the audio, bearing resemblance to Rajan’s voice, said Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin and son-in-law Sabareesan had amassed more wealth than their grandparents had in their lifetime. The Minister had alleged the audio was fabricated using technology.
Rajan recalls his contributions as FM
Nonetheless, it appeared that Rajan was aware that he was on his way out from the Finance Ministry and would be taking over IT. Shortly after the Raj Bhavan released the changed portfolios of some Ministers, Rajan posted a longish tweet recalling his contribution as Finance Minister in the post-COVID-19 period and said he was looking forward to taking Tamil Nadu to the number one position in the IT sector. He also thanked the Chief Minister saying the past two years were the “most fulfilling” in his life.
Thangam Thennarasu replaces Rajan
Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu, known for his efficiency and articulation, was assigned the Finance and HRM portfolios. Senior DMK leader T R Baalu’s son, TRB Raaja, who was sworn in Minister earlier in the day, will handle Industries.
35 ministers in TN Cabinet
The Tamil Nadu Cabinet strength remains 35 with the recent dropping of Milk and Dairy Development Minister S M Nasar. Mano Thangaraj, who till recently was IT Minister, will handle these subjects now.
While Stalin or the DMK did not come up with any reason for the reshuffle of portfolios, the shifting of Rajan stood out.
Leaders of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami alleged that the Chief Minister had hesitated to drop Rajan from the Cabinet fearing he would spill more beans about the alleged loot of public money. The BJP claimed the shifting of Rajan proved the audio tapes were authentic.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)