In a first ever change in his Cabinet, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami on Wednesday dropped IT Minister Manikandan after he criticised the Government for reducing charges for the State-owned Arasu Cable.
A Raj Bhavan statement said Governor Panwarilal Purohit had accepted the recommendation of the Chief Minister and dropped Manikandan and allotted his portfolio to Revenue Minister RV Udhaya Kumar.
This was the first change in the Cabinet since Edappadi assumed office as Chief Minister in February 2017 after the death of Chief Minister J Jayalalitha.
The action followed the public criticism by Manikandan that he was not consulted before the cable charges for Arasu Cable were reduced which he said would lead to a revenue of Rs 27 crore a month.
Manikandan also criticised his Cabinet colleague Udumalai R. Radhakrishnan, considered close to Chief Minister Palaniswami.
He told media:”The newly appointed chairman of the Arasu cable TV has said the cable operators should not sell private set top boxes to consumers. But he himself is running a private cable TV called Akshaya which has around 2 lakh connections. This is clear conflict of interest”.
With the removal of Manikandan, the strength of the Palaniswami Ministry has come down to 31.