Karuna appoints Stalin as deputy chief minister

Written by Press Trust of India | Chennai | Updated: May 31 2009, 05:07am hrs
Karunanidhi on Friday appointed MK Stalin, his second son and local administration minister in his government, as deputy chief minister of Tamil Nadu in the clearest signal yet paving the way for his taking over the reins from him.

Long groomed as his heir to the chief ministers throne and to head the DMK, he cited health reasons for anointing Stalin as the next in command in the government.

The 85-year-old chief minister, who of late has been seen in public only on a motorised wheel chair after a spinal surgery in February, entrusted to Stalin the portfolios of industry, general administration, district revenue officers and minority welfare hitherto held by him.

Stalin, who still heads the partys youth wing and had shot to fame after his incarceration under MISA during the 1975 emergency, will also continue to hold the portfolio of rural development and local administration, a Raj Bhavan press release, announcing his appointment, said.

In a statement, Karunandhi said he was unable to pay full attention to the administration because of his ill health. I have to clear not less than hundred files a week. I had discussed the issue with finance minister K Anbazhagan and asked him whether he can shoulder some more responsibility. He had also cited health reasons (for not taking up).

After discussions, it has been decided that I will keep one or two important portfolios and Anbazhagan continue as the Leader of the House in the state Assembly. Stalin will be after two of us, Karunanidhi said .