Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief M. Karunanidhi (85) on Friday elevated his 56-year-old younger son and the party’s youth wing chief, Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin, as the deputy chief minister of Tamil Nadu.
Coming within 24 hours of Karunanidhi’s elder son M.K. Azhagiri (57) settling in as the Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister, this completes the patriarch’s succession plan.
A communiqué from Governor S.S. Barnala’s office announced here this afternoon that Stalin, on the advice of the chief minister, was being “re-designated deputy chief minister”.
Karunanidhi had already handed over most of his own portfolios to Stalin since the DMK came back to power in May 2006. He will now handle only the key home portfolio that controls the state police.
“I take this with all humility and will continue to be guided by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi,” Stalin said. He also did not agree that his re-designation was a reward for the DMK-Congress front’s win in the Lok Sabha polls.
Shortly later, Karunanidhi said in a statement that he had taken the decision in consultation with DMK’s senior-most leader K. Anbazhagan.
He said, “For my frail health condition, I have been unable to pay full attention to my job. I asked Anbazhagan whether he can take on the additional responsibilities, but his health too does not permit it.”