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Karuna cabinet has 20 new faces

Written by: Staff

Chennai, May 13: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's 31-member jumbo cabinet has ten of his old colleagues and 20 new faces.

Following is the profile of the members of the new cabinet.

M Karunanidhi, Chief Minister: The DMK patriarch assumed office as Chief Minister for the record fifth time.

Having the distinction of being elected to the state assembly for the 11th time, the Dravidian stalwart, born in a poor family in Thanjavur district, made a humble beginning. He entered public life at the tender age of 14, when he launched a handwritten magazine to spread the ideals of rationalist leader Periyar E V Ramasamy.

When his mentor C N Annadurai formed the first DMK government in 1967, Mr Karunanidhi was appointed as Public Works Minister. He became Chief Minister after the death of Anna in 1969.

After the death of Anna and the exit of charismatic leader M G Ramachandran from the party, Mr Karunanidhi, kept the party intact and rode it to power in 1971, 1989 and 1996 and now in 2006.

K Anbazhagan: Finance Minister. A old war horse, Mr Anbazhagan, who had been in Mr Karunanidhi's earler regimes, will be holding the Finance Portfolio for the first time. The DMK stalwart, popularly known as ''Perasiriyar'' (Professor) is an academician-turned politician. He held the Education Portfolios in Mr Karunanidhi's cabinet in 1989 and 1996.

A former lecturer in Pachaiyappa's college, Mr Anbazhagan, an effective orator, was invited by Periyar and Anna to join the mainstream politics. The octogenarian had been representing the state assembly since 1957 and was once elected to Parliament once in 1967. Having a clean image, the DMK stalwart, is the General Secretary of the party and is seen with Mr Karunanidhi, virtually at all times, in victory as well as defeat.

Electricity Minsiter Arcot N Veerasamy is another old war horse in the party, holding the post of Treasurer. Hailing from an agricultural family, Mr Veerasamy, a native of Arcot in Vellore district has been representing the state assembly since 1967.

He had served as Electricity, Health and Food Minister in Mr Karunanidhi's earlier governments. He was a member of the now defunct legislative council in 1978.


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