CM sacks Minister Manikandan from Cabinet

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has dropped Dr Manikandan from his Cabinet hours after the latter accused Palaniswami of unilaterally slashing monthly tariff collected by Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV Corporation from households.

In a recent interview, after taking part in the fifth national textile day celebrations at Paramakudi in Ramanathapuram district, the minister said he was not consulted by the chief minister before taking a decision on cutting down the Arasu cable TV charges.

“The state government will witness a revenue loss of Rs 27 crore every month because of the reduction in the consumer rates. I was not consulted,” he told the media.

Manikandan also criticised his cabinet colleague Udumalai Radhakrishnan, who is also the head of the state-run Tamil Nadu Arasu Cable TV.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit has accepted the chief minister’s recommendation to drop Manikandan from the Council of Ministers, a Raj Bhavan release said.

Based on the recommendation of the Chief Minister, the portfolio of Information Technology has been re-allocated to R B Udhayakumar, Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management, it said.

Senior leader K A Sengottaiyan was the only addition to the Cabinet after ‘MaFoi’ K Pandiarajan sided with O Panneerselvam, who had rebelled against V K Sasikala. However, Panneerselvam and Pandiarajan were later inducted into the Cabinet.

By removing Manikandan, who has been in the eye of a storm due to his statements directed against party colleagues, Palaniswami has asserted his authority over the Cabinet.