Chennai: Udhayanidhi, the ruling DMK’s youth wing secretary and MLA, would be sworn in as minister on December 14 in the Cabinet headed by his father, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and party president, M K Stalin.
The 45-year-old legislator, who cut his teeth in the DMK’s youth wing, is hailed by party workers as a successful organiser and go-getter, who made the youth wing scale new heights under his leadership.
The determined membership drive, the mission to inculcate Dravidian ideology and ‘Dravidian model’ workshops are among some of the party initiatives under his leadership. Last month, he was retained as youth wing chief by the party for another term.
A first-time MLA, Udhayanidhi was elected in the 2021 Assembly election from the Chepauk-Tiruvallikeni Assembly Constituency here.
An actor and filmmaker, he was a star campaigner for the party in the polls and his campaign style, like posing with a brick to target the BJP for the ‘delay’ in the construction of AIIMS in Madurai drew attention.
In an official release, the Raj Bhavan said: “The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (M K Stalin) has recommended to the Governor of Tamil Nadu (R N Ravi) to induct Udhayanidhi Stalin, Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni Assembly Constituency in the Council of Ministers. The Governor has approved the recommendation. The Swearing-in-Ceremony will be held on 14th December 2022 at 9.30 am at Durbar Hall, Raj Bhavan, Chennai.”
His induction into the Cabinet was expected ever since the DMK wrested power from arch-rival AIADMK in May 2021. However, it also coincided with the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and the focus of the government was on tackling it.
DMK spokesperson Constantine Ravindran said that be it ministers or party district secretaries, there is a demand that Udhayanidhi Stalin be made a minister. “Now, this demand is more pronounced,” he told PTI.
Political analyst Durai Karuna said that leaders were preparing the ground for a year now for Udhayanidhi to become a minister. Senior ministers, including Duraimurugan and others, who have a strong say in party matters, have openly expressed their support for Udhayanidhi’s appointment as a minister.
Political commentator M Bharat Kumar said that his induction was expected this week as Tamil month ‘Margazhi’ would commence after that. Margazhi is considered inauspicious by many people for beginning something new.
“Udhayanidhi is likely to get portfolios including Youth Welfare and Special Programme Implementation that will take him to the next level, both in the party and the government within the next 3 years, in time for the next Assembly election,” Kumar claimed.
Opposition calls DMK ‘family party’
Leader of Opposition and AIADMK interim general secretary, Edappadi K Palaniswami, addressing a party event in Tirupur, slammed the ruling DMK as a ‘family party.’
Stalin is set to make his son Udhayanidhi a minister ‘within four days’ and seniors have been given ‘dummy’ departments, he claimed. Those who have slogged for the party have not got posts, he alleged.
The AIADMK leader said late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi had once criticised the Nehru-Gandhi family and wondered if it was a royal clan as those belonging to that family managed to become the Prime Minister. “He (Karunanidhi) had asked if others should not become the Prime Minister,” Palaniswami said on Sunday.