Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, in the eye of a political storm over the gutka scam and opposition demands for his resignation, has been named as one of the organising secretaries of the party, a key post in the ruling AIADMK.
The residences of the minister, DGP TK Rajendran and former Chennai police commissioner S George were among 40 places raided by CBI on September 5 in connection with the
alleged sale of gutka, banned by the state government in 2013.
The raids prompted the opposition DMK, PMK and the CPI(M) to seek their resignations or the state governor's intervention to sack them.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami had defended his Cabinet colleague recently, saying only charges had been levelled against the minister, which could not make him guilty.
Former Assembly Speaker PH Pandian, who was among the leaders to defend Paneerselvam and take on then interim general secretary VK Sasikala was named the party's legal advisor.
A party release issued Friday said besides Vijaya Baskar, former Union Minister of State, Senji N Ramachandran who joined the party in 2014 and former Minister and Karur based leader A Papa Sundaram and Madurai strongman M Muthuramalingam (former MLA) were also appointed as organising secretaries.
Mr Ramachandran was previously with the DMK and later joined MDMK when Mr Vaiko founded it over two decades ago. He was a Minister in the NDA government led by late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Adidravidar and Backward classes Welfare Minister VM Rajalakshmi was appointed party women's wing deputy secretary and former Minister S Abdul Raheem named as party's minorities welfare wing joint secretary.
The new appointees, including C Vijayabaskar Saturday called on Chief Minsiter K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minster O Panneerselvam and took their blessings.
The appointments followed two days of high-level deliberations (Sept 13, 14) at the party headquarters, led by party coordinator and Deputy Chief Minsiter O Panneerselvam and co-coordinator and Chief Minister K Palaniswami. Senior party leader K P Munusamy said the district
secretaries meet would be held on September 19.