Walking down the memory lane, senior DMK legislator Duraimurugan recalled his long involvement and vast experience with the Water Resources Department of the Tamil Nadu government, which was first allocated to him by former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.
During his reply to the debate on the demand for grants in the Water Resources Department in the State Legislative Assembly on Monday, Mr. Duraimurugan recalled that former CM Karunanidhi had allocated the portfolio to him several years ago. “Thalaivar said he was allocating the portfolio to me with the same sentiment when [former CM] Anna allocated him [former CM Karunanidhi] the portfolio.”
Unlike other Ministers, who could run their portfolios even by remaining in the Secretariat, the Minister handling the Public Works Department [PWD] [which had earlier included Water Resources Department] had to visit the riverbanks and lakes to know the intricacies of his department portfolio, former CM Karunanidhi had advised Mr. Duraimurugan.
As Minister handling PWD and then Water Resources Department eventually, Mr. Duraimurugan claimed credit for the construction of over 20 dams across the State. “Even the construction of some of the dams that were initiated during the AIADMK regime, were completed by me, including the Sothupparai dam,” he pointed out.
When DMK was elected to power last summer, DMK president M.K. Stalin had asked him for his choice in choosing portfolios, the Minister recalled: “I chose the portfolio because I have a great deal of involvement in this portfolio for several years.”
Signing a file for providing free electricity for the benefit of farmers moved him to tears, the Minister recalled. “We had three pump sets and my mother lost her ear studs and gold ornaments every time we paid the electricity bill,” an emotional Minister recalled.
Mr. Duraimurugan, who chose not to speak from a prepared speech for his reply in the House, went extempore for a few minutes before winding up his speech. The senior DMK leader said he was moved by the resolution moved in his honour by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin in the House and hence he was speechless. “I was moved and in a way our Chief Minister is the reason I could not speak today,” the Minister said in a lighter vein.
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