Jayalalithaa revamps ministry, party

Jayalalithaa revamps ministry, party
Chennai, June 23 (PTI) In a major revamp of her cabinet and the AIADMK set up after the party's drubbing in the last month Lok Sabha elections, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today sacked two of her cabinet colleagues from the Ministry and relieved three ministers of party posts.

This is the 15h reshuffle of the AIADMK Ministry in the state since the party came to power in 2001.

Education Minister S Semmalai and Backward Classes Minister R Jeevanantham were dropped from the ministry by the Tamil Nadu Governor P S Rammohan Rao on Jayalalithaa's advice, bringing down its strength from the present 26 to 24.

By removing two ministers, Jayalalithaa has also down sized her ministry.

Though the state could have more ministers under the 91st Amendment to the Constitution, which limited the size of ministries to 15 per cent of the strength of the legislatures, Jayalalithaa had chosen to keep the number of ministers to 23, AIADMK sources said. Tamil Nadu Assembly has 234 members.

Semmalai was also axed from the post of the party's Salem Urban District Secretary and former state Minister Vijayalakshmi Palanisamy appointed in his place, Jayalalithaa said in a separate release.

Dairy Development Minister S Ramachandran, Sports Minister Inbatamizhan and Labour Minister P Annavi have been removed from Tiruvannamalai (South), Virudhunagar and Tiruchirapalli Rural District secretary posts respectively.

After the AIADMK's rout in the elections, the Jayalalitha Government had already effected major reshuffles in the bureaucracy and police departments.

The removal of two ministers was on the cards since the AIADMK's defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.

Semmalai's ouster was imminent even on Saturday last itself when the state Public Relations Department requested all newspaper offices not to use a photograph of him calling on Jayalalithaa, which was released by it.

The portfolios handled by sacked ministers had been given to the Labour Minister C Ve Shanmugam.

Labour will now be handled by Agriculture Minister P Annavi, while rural industries Minister K Pandurangan would also be in charge of Agriculture.

R Vinaagamurthy, a former district secretar, is the new Virudunagar District Secretary while former MLA, T Vediyyappan takes the place of Ramachandran as the Tiruvannamalai (South) District Secretary.

Annavi gives way for M Paramjothy, who was defeated in the recent Lok Sabha polls from Tiruchirapalli and subsequently made chairman of Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation.

K Palanisamy, another unsuccesful candidate in the Lok Sabha polls and appointed as the chairman of Tamil Nadu Cements Corporation, is the new Salem Rural District Secretary of the party.

The AIADMK, which contested 33 seats in the last month elections, drew a blank.


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