Following the announcement that Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, popularly referred to as PTR, no longer holds the finance portfolio in the Tamil Nadu Cabinet, tweets and posts in his favour flooded social media.
Till Thursday morning, many held on to the hope that DMK supremo and Chief Minister MK Stalin would not change PTR’s portfolio, supposedly a consequence of the leak of his purported audio tapes making adverse comments on the party’s first family.
Even a screenshot of PTR’s Facebook bio was shared on social media, claiming that the minister had updated it to “Minister of Finance”.
A leading regional news channel, close to the DMK first family, also tweeted the screenshot, which was removed later from their social media page.
However, at exactly 11:05 am on Thursday, minutes after the swearing-in ceremony, the news of the Cabinet reshuffle emerged from St George Fort — the administrative headquarters of the Tamil Nadu government.
It came as a shock to a few and apparently caused anguish to many.
Following the announcement, social media was flooded with tweets supporting PTR. People from many walks of life, including DMK supporters, openly expressed their views.
Echoing in support
While many wished him well, many others opined that the DMK had made the wrong move.
PTR will undoubtedly succeed in the specified portfolio. But @arivalayam has made some terrible decisions, including this one. DMK will undoubtedly regret this. #PTRPalanivelThiagarajan pic.twitter.com/lrXYysojgK
— Chennai Memes (@MemesChennai) May 11, 2023
#PTRPalanivelThiagarajan With this knee-jerk reaction to audio leaks @arivalayam has played into hands of Right-Wing politics-come what may, PTR should hv been backed & not hastily shunted in such an embarrassing way. This wont go down well even with staunch & loyal DMK voters!
— Srikanth K (@srikanth23_k) May 11, 2023
Hailing him for the way he countered the right wing activists and the BJP in the past, tweets were posted and shared prominently.
Biggest mistake by @arivalayam it’s @ptrmadurai one who gave the tight slap against BJP in national media also he is the best finance minister அவரை போய் 🤦🏻@mkstalin #PTRPalanivelThiagarajan https://t.co/QJ8CAipDE9 pic.twitter.com/V2ZK7sLXLI
— Dinesh Kumar (@itsdinesh90) May 11, 2023
Few others tweeted about his honesty and mentioned that it’s a loss to the Finance Department. Further, the hashtag #PTRPalanivelThiagarajan has been trending since Thursday morning.
#PTRPalanivelThiagarajan wow what an impact he had made. Saddened by his tragic exit. He is truly a role model for honest politics. I am sure his exit would impact the image of govt.
— Senthil Nathan R (@raj_senthil82) May 11, 2023
A honest politician! That’s the tweet.
— Dhivya Marunthiah (@DhivCM) May 11, 2023
Revival of the state’s finances
When DMK came to power, the state’s finances were hit hard by the Covid pandemic and the alleged financial mismanagement of the previous AIADMK government.
PTR handled it well and was appreciated by the chief minister on several occasions.
Even while tabling the budget for the current fiscal year, PTR declared that the state’s debt-to-GDP ratio had come down to 25.63 percent from 32 percent. “The debt-to-GDP ratio is well within the 29.19 percent limit set by the 16th Finance Commission,” he declared.
Several people tweeted about his accomplishments as part of the Finance Department.
@ptrmadurai #PTRPalanivelThiagarajan has reduced the revenue deficit of Tamil Nadu by Rs. 30,000 crore from Rs. 62,000 crore within a span of 2 years of serving as the finance minister. If he has continued he would have made Tamil Nadu, a state with a positive cash flow, pic.twitter.com/hd6UDUJZsY
— Master Mind (@mastermindmaddy) May 11, 2023
You did an excellent job as the Finance Minister sir, your dedication have been invaluable. Now it’s time to move TN’s IT sector to global level🔥 we believe in party, our leader and you🖤❤️✨ https://t.co/jV5tTqbQmF
— Kanimozhi Manoharan (@Kaniiii___) May 11, 2023