'This is the epitome of my public service': PTR's first statement after getting a new task from MK Stalin!

Moments after Palanivel Thiaga Rajan (PTR) was awarded a new portfolio by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin as the latter carried out a major cabinet reshuffle on Thursday - May 11, the former has issued a first statement in which he expressed that he is grateful that the Chief Minister has assigned him the new task. 

PTR had been serving as the Finance Minister of Tamil Nadu and in the cabinet rejig, he has now been made the Minister of Information Technology and Digital Services. The major cabinet reshuffle has come days after MK Stalin-led DMK government entered its third year and for the first time since coming to power, Stalin has expelled a minister from his cabinet as Avadi Nasar, the Minister for Milk and Dairy Development, was ousted and DMK MLA TRB Rajaa has been inducted into the cabinet. 

The official announcement about the cabinet reshuffle was made moments after TRB Rajaa had sworn-in as the minister on Thursday. As anticipated, PTR has been removed from the Finance Ministry and awarded a new portfolio. PTR's political backlash has come in the wake of the controversial audio tapes in which he was heard talking about MK Stalin's son Udhayanidhi Stalin and his son-in-law Sabareesan that the duo had amassed Rs 30,000 crore in a year.

As the audio clips have sparked outrage, it was reported that PTR could be dropped from the cabinet. However, his ouster was shelved and the Chief Minister has made him the Minister of Information Technology and Digital Services. Expressing confidence over his new role, PTR issued a statement in which he revisited his tenure, thanked Chief Minister MK Stalin, and extended his greetings to Thangam Thennarasu, who replaced him as the Finance Minister. 

Taking to Twitter, PTR wrote, "The past two years have been the most fulfilling in my life. Under the leadership of CM MK Stalin, I presented one revised budget (’21 - ’22) during the pandemic, and two annual budgets (’22 – ’23, ’23 – ’24) post-pandemic. Despite inheriting record deficits and debt ratios, we have invested in a record number of social welfare schemes as well as record capital spending, all while delivering record-setting fiscal improvements. This is the epitome of my public service, and indeed of my life." 

He further said, "While fiscal consolidation and social spending are necessary steps for an equitable society, the drivers of development and growth are investment, enterprise expansion and job-creation. I am grateful that CM MK Stalin has now assigned me the portfolio of Information Technology – globally the #1 industry for investment and job-creation today. We know that technology shapes the future." 

He stated, "Though Tamil Nadu was a pioneer in this field in Thalaivar Kalaignar’s time, we have unfortunately lagged our true potential in this sector in the last decade or so. I plan to build on the great efforts of my predecessor Mano Thangaraj to attract more investments, accelerate job-creation, and deliver growth at a pace that will re-establish Tamil Nadu as a leading state in IT. I hope my own experience in establishing and managing a pioneering Global Capability Centre 15 years ago, and the connectivity with the IT & ITES Industry gained during my professional career, will enrich my efforts in this new role." 

"I wish the incoming Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu great success and many more achievements as he assumes responsibility today. I am sure he will accelerate the progress already made and deliver new records in his tenure. I thank my leader CM MK Stalin again, both for providing me with the previous portfolio for two years, and this exciting new role to serve the people", PTR added. 

He also congratulated the newly inducted minsiter TRB Rajaa, who has been made the Minister for Industries. PTR wrote, "My hearty congratulations and best wishes to my dear thambi TRB Rajaa, my fellow MLA, fellow former PAC member, successor as the 2nd Secretary of the DMK IT Wing, and above all my good friend and well-wisher. I am sure he will build on the excellent work of the former Industries Minister, and new Finance Minister Thangam Thenarasu, and take TN Industrial development to great heights under the leadership of our CM MK Stalin!."