Jayalalithaa opts for fresh faces, 3 ministers take oath

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Chennai, Feb 28: Three AIADMK legislators who were elected to the Tamil Nadu Assembly for the first time took oath as ministers at the Raj Bhavan here on Thursday.

Vaigai Chelvan is the state's new Sports and Youth Welfare Minister. TP Poonatchi will handle the Khadi and Village Industries portfolio. KC Veeramani is the new Minister for Health, Medical Education and Family Welfare.

Governor K Rosaiah administered the oath of office to the trio whom Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa chose to join her cabinet after removing Gokula Indira, Dr VS Vijay and NR Sivapathy on Wednesday.

KC Veeramani is Dr VS Vijay's successor. Vaigai Chelvan has been given the additional portfolios of School Education, Archaeology, Tamil Language and Culture which were handled by Sivapathy.

Municipal Administration and Rural Development Minister KP Munusamy has got one more portfolio of Law that was also with Sivapathy till yesterday. P Chendur Pandian used to be the Khadi and Village Industries minister but now he will take care of the Tourism portfolio that was hitherto with Gokula Indira.

New Ministers in Tamil Nadu

While Dr VS Vijay and Sivapathy were also sacked from the party posts they were holding, Gokula Indira was comparatively luckier. She has been appointed as the organising secretary of the ruling party.

Jayalalithaa and other ministers attended the swearing-in ceremony. Incidentally, this is the eight time in the past 22 months that the AIADMK supremo has gone in for a reshuffle of her cabinet.

The party was able to sweep the 2011 Assembly elections mainly because the voters were fed up with the corruption involving DMK leaders. The 2G spectrum scam was seen by political observers as the decisive factor that allowed Jayalalithaa to come back to power.

During her recent birthday celebrations, she asked her followers to ensure a thumping victory for the AIADMK in the next Lok Sabha polls that are scheduled to be held in 2014.

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