Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Wednesday dropped Information Technology Minister Dr M. Manikandan from the State Council of Ministers.

Manikandan was dropped following his critical comments on government’s decision to reduce the cable TV charges. 

In a recent interview, the minister said he was not consulted by the chief minister before taking a decision on cutting down the Arasu cable TV charges. “The state government will witness a revenue loss of Rs 27 crore every month because of the reduction in the consumer rates. I was not consulted,” he said.

Manikandan had also criticized his cabinet colleague Udumalai R. Radhakrishnan, Minister for Animals Husbandry. 

“The newly appointed chairman of the state-run Arasu cable TV has said that the cable operators should not sell the private set top boxes to the consumers. But he himself is running a private cable TV called Akshaya which has around 2 lakh connections. This is clear conflict of interest,” Manikandan had said.

Governor Banwarilal Purohit has accepted the chief minister’s recommendation to drop Manikandan from the Council of Ministers, a Raj Bhavan release here said.

As per the recommendation of the Chief Minister, the portfolio of Information Technology has been re-allocated to R B Udhayakumar, Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management, it said.

This is the first time, since becoming chief minister in February, 2017, Palaniswami has dropped a Minister.

With the dropping of Manikandan, the strength of the Palaniswami ministry has come down to 31.