Jayalalithaa effects 10th cabinet rejig in 2 yrs

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December 10, 2013

CHENNAI: In yet another cabinet reshuffle, chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday dropped sports and youth welfare minister K V Ramalingam and inducted former minister R B Udhaya Kumar, representing the Sattur assembly constituency. Udhaya Kumar was minister for information and technology for nearly four months in 2011 before being dropped.

December 10, 2013

CHENNAI: In yet another cabinet reshuffle, chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday dropped sports and youth welfare minister K V Ramalingam and inducted former minister R B Udhaya Kumar, representing the Sattur assembly constituency. Udhaya Kumar was minister for information and technology for nearly four months in 2011 before being dropped.

The restructuring of the cabinet comes a day after the Yercaud bypoll result was announced and the AIADMK scored a splendid win in a direct contest with the DMK. With this, Jayalalithaa has reshuffled her cabinet more than 10 times after assuming office in May 2011.

Interestingly, Ramalingam was moved to youth welfare ministry from public works department only in November, amidst allegations of illegal sand mining in the state. It is not clear as to what prompted the CM to strip him off the portfolio, even as reports of his alleged involvement in a land deal did the rounds. In a related development, Jayalalithaa on Friday removed Ramalingam from the post of party's Erode city district secretary as well.

On Monday, a three-line official statement from Raj Bhavan simply attributed the changes in the portfolios to the 'recommendation' of the CM. The swearing-in ceremony of the new minister will be held at Raj Bhavan at 9.45pm on Wednesday.

The CM also reshuffled portfolios of M C Sampath, B V Ramana and Thoppu N D Venkatachalam. Environment and pollution control, hitherto held by Sampath, has been allotted to Venkatachalam. Sampath is now re-designated as minister of commercial taxes and registration, a portfolio held by Ramana. The revenue portfolio held by Venkatachalam has been allocated to Ramana.

There is a feeling among a section that the frequent change in portfolios could affect the functioning of the state administration. "It has thrown up a situation where bureaucrats have to frequently orient new ministers to their portfolios," said writer and political analyst S Gnani. "This is a bad precedent. It may be the prerogative of the CM, but she still owes people an explanation for the frequent reshuffles," he said.


Courtesy: TOI

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