Tamil Nadu Minister RS Rajakannappan was transferred out of his Transport portfolio one day after a block development officer in Ramanathapuram filed a complaint alleging that the minister used casteist remarks to admonish him.
The reshuffle of the Tamil Nadu cabinet comes on the recommendation of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, a release from the Raj Bhavan said.
Rajakannappan Re-designated as Minister for Backward Classes Welfare
The portfolios of Transport, Nationalised Transport and Motor Vehicles Act, which was under RS Rajakannappan, has now been allocated to SS Sivasankar, who will be the new Minister for Transport.
The portfolios of Backward Classes Welfare, Most Backward Classes Welfare and Denotified Communities Welfare, which were under Sivasankar, have now been allocated to RS Rajakannappan, and he has been re-designated as the Minister for Backward Classes Welfare. Though the portfolio allotted comes as a bit of an irony, sources say the move could be to lower his cabinet rank.
The divestment of the portfolio, the first after the DMK assumed power in May 2021, assumes significance since the ruling party (unlike the previous AIADMK regimes) does not generally resort to it barring exceptions.
The reshuffle of the portfolios comes a day after Mudukulathur Block Development Officer (BDO) Rajendran had lodged a complaint with the District Collector against RS Rajakanappan. He had alleged that Rajakannappan had on 27 March rebuked him using caste name.
A video had also emerged of the officer’s allegations against the minister, where he says that when he greeted the minister, the minister referred to him by his caste to dismiss him and threatened to transfer him.
DMK Govt Has Not Commented Over the Issue Officially
Meanwhile, an unnamed statement had also surfaced, accusing Rajendran of levelling false charges against the minister. The note also accuses Rajendran of being ‘hand-in-gloves’ with AIADMK Union Chairman Dharman. The DMK or the state government has not officially commented on the issue.
The opposition in Tamil Nadu had been demanding action against the minister for his casteist remarks. Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam had condemned the incident and had demanded action against the minister.
(Published in arrangement with The News Minute.)