M. K. Stalin


Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin (// (listen), born 1 March 1953) ,often referred to by his initials MKS is an Indian politician serving as the 8th and current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The son of the former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, Stalin has been the president of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party since 28 August 2018. He served as the 37th Mayor of Chennai from 1996 to 2002 and 1st Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from 2009 to 2011.[1][2] Stalin was placed 30th on the list of India's Most powerful Personalities in 2019 by The Indian Express.[3]

M. K. Stalin
Hon CM Photo.jpg
M. K. Stalin in 2021
8th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Assumed office
7 May 2021
GovernorBanwarilal Purohit
R. N. Ravi
Preceded byEdappadi K. Palaniswami
Assumed office
7 May 2021
Ministry and Departments
  • Public
  • Home
  • Police
  • All India Services
  • District Revenue Officers
  • General Administration
  • Special Initiatives
  • Special Programme Implementation
  • Welfare Of Differently-abled Persons
Other departments not allocated to any Minister shall vest with the Chief Minister..
Preceded byEdappadi K. Palaniswami
Member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
Assumed office
23 May 2011
Preceded byconstituency established
In office
13 May 1996 – 15 May 2011
Preceded byK. A. Krishnaswamy
Succeeded byB. Valarmathi
ConstituencyThousand Lights
President of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Assumed office
28 August 2018
General Secretary
Preceded byM. Karunanidhi
1st Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
In office
29 May 2009 – 15 May 2011
GovernorSurjit Singh Barnala
Chief MinisterM. Karunanidhi
Preceded byposition established
Succeeded byO. Panneerselvam
Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
In office
25 May 2016 – 5 May 2021
DeputyDurai Murugan
Chief Minister
Preceded byVijayakanth
Succeeded byEdappadi K. Palaniswami
Minister of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj of Tamil Nadu
In office
13 May 2006 – 15 May 2011
Chief MinisterM. Karunanidhi
Preceded byVeerapandy S. Arumugam
Succeeded byP. Mohan
37th Mayor of Chennai
In office
25 October 1996 – 6 September 2002
Preceded byR. Arumugam
Succeeded byM. Subramaniam
Acting President of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
In office
4 January 2017 – 28 August 2018
General Secretary
Preceded byposition established
Treasurer of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
In office
27 December 2008 – 27 August 2018
General Secretary
Preceded byArcot N. Veerasamy
Succeeded byDurai Murugan
Deputy General Secretary of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
In office
General Secretary
youth wing Secretary of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
In office
General Secretary
Personal details
Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin

(1953-03-01) 1 March 1953 (age 69)
Madras, Madras State,
(present-day Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)
Political partyDravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Durga Stalin
(m. 1976)
RelativesKarunanidhi family
Residence(s)25/9, Chittaranjan Road, Alwarpet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
EducationBachelor of Arts
Alma materPresidency College, Chennai
  • Politician
Nickname(s)MK Stalin

Early life and family

Stalin is the third son of 2nd Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and DMK Chief M. Karunanidhi, and was born to his wife, Dayalu Ammal. Stalin was born in Madras, now Chennai, on 1 March 1953. Karunanidhi was addressing a condolence meeting for Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who died only four days after his child was born, and thus decided to name his son after Stalin.[4][5]

Stalin studied at the Madras Christian College Higher Secondary School.[6] He completed a pre-university course at Vivekananda College, and obtained a history degree from Presidency College, Chennai of University of Madras in 1973. M. K. Stalin was conferred Honorary Doctorates by Anna University on August 1, 2009.[7][8][9][10]

Stalin married Durga (alias Shantha) on August 20, 1975, and has two children.

His son is Udhayanidhi Stalin, an actor and politician. Udhayanidhi is married to Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi, an Indian Tamil Film director.

His daughter is Senthamarai Sabareesan, an entrepreneur and educationist. She is the director of Sunshine Schools, Chennai.[11] Senthamarai is married to Sabareesan Vedamurthy, an entrepreneur and political strategist.[12]

Like his father, Stalin has also publicly disclosed that he is an atheist. But he also said that he is not against any religious beliefs.[13][14][15]


His political career began in his early teens when he started the DMK Gopalapuram Youth Wing in a tea shop with several friends.[16] As a 14 year old, he campaigned for his uncle, Murasoli Maran, in the 1967 elections.[17][18] In 1973, Stalin was elected to the General committee of the DMK.[19]

He came to limelight when he was jailed in Central Prison, Madras under the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) for protesting against the Emergency in 1976.[20][21][22] He was beaten up in custody and a fellow DMK prisoner C. Chittibabu died of injuries and police torture while protecting him.[23][24][25] He wrote his final year BA exams while in prison.[5] Stalin formed the DMK youth wing. In 1982 Stalin became the youth wing secretary of DMK, a post he held for more than four decades.[26]

Stalin with social activist M. B. Nirmal in 1987

Stalin contested the Assembly polls unsuccessfully from Thousand Lights constituency in Chennai. In 1989 Stalin contested Assembly polls from Thousand Lights constituency again, and won.[27] The DMK government got dismissed in 1991 before completing its full five-year term. In 1991, he contested for the third time from the same Assembly constituency, but lost to K. A. Krishnaswamy of the AIADMK. Again in 1996, Stalin won the election as an MLA from the Thousand Lights constituency.

In 2003, Stalin became Deputy General Secretary of the DMK.[16] In 2011 Stalin changed his constituency for the first time in his political career, moving from Thousand Lights to Kolathur constituency on the outskirts of Chennai city.[5]

Mayor of Chennai

Stalin became the city's first directly elected mayor in 1996.[28] He coined a pet project called Singara Chennai (Beautiful Chennai), lauded for improving Chennai's infrastructure.[5] His efforts in improving city infrastructure earned him the title of Managara Thanthai (father of the city).[29]

During his tenure as mayor, MK Stalin was well received by the people of Chennai. He modernized the garbage disposal system of the city of Chennai by giving priority to cleaning works. He implemented integrated development projects such as health, public construction and schools. He solved the congestion of the city of Chennai by building huge flyovers.[30] During his first tenure, 9 major flyovers and 49 short bridges were built. He also improved the standard of Corporation Schools to be on par with private schools.[31][32] In addition, parks and fountains were set up at 18 major junctions. 81 parks were cleaned and properly maintained.[33] Saplings were planted at the Chennai Marina, the second largest beach in the world. The slaughterhouse at Perambur have been modernized to avoid polluting the environment. During his tenure, it was decided to build flyovers on 10 congested roads before the end of his term. ₹95 crores have been allocated for the construction of flyovers. However, 30% of the funds were left over when the flyovers were opened according to him.[34] He was re-elected Mayor for the 2nd time in 2001.[35]

However, the then Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa enacted the Tamil Nadu Municipal Laws (Amendment) Act, in 2002, which prevents a person from holding two elected posts in the government.[32] This law was applied retroactively to MK Stalin's case (he was an elected Thousand Lights MLA) in a move widely seen as aimed at removing him as Chennai's mayor.[36] However, the Madras High Court struck down the law stating that legislative bodies were not "prevented" from making laws affecting the "substantive rights" of persons retrospectively. However, the court held that under Madras (now Chennai) City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919, a person cannot be mayor for two consecutive terms, though unlike MK Stalin, earlier mayors were not directly elected.[29] MK Stalin did not appeal in the Supreme Court.[37]

Deputy Chief Minister and Minister

In the 2006 Assembly Elections, the DMK regained control of the state assembly, partly due to Stalin's efforts. Stalin became the Minister for Rural Development and Local Administration in the Government of Tamil Nadu and retained this office throughout his term. During his tenure, he developed his skills as an administrator, he was instrumental in the extensive spread of Women Self Help Groups across the State by establishing 1,75,493 Women SHGs. He also established various comprehensive drinking water projects such as Hogenekal and Ramanathapuram water schemes.[18][32] In 2008, he became treasurer of DMK.[16]

On 29 May 2009, Stalin was nominated as Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu by Governor Surjit Singh Barnala.[38]

On 3 January 2013, Karunanidhi named Stalin as his heir apparent, thus ending a long time confusion about who would take over the party reins after Karunanidhi's death.[39]

Opposition leader

During the 2016 Assembly election, Stalin went on a statewide tour titled Namakku Naame to appeal to the youth. Stalin won the Kolathur constituency and was appointed as the opposition leader.[40] In 2017, Stalin went on another Namakku Naame tour.[41] In 2018, his father Karunanidhi died, leaving Stalin the president of the DMK.[18]

M.K. Stalin and Sedapatti Muthiah in 2018

Secular Progressive Alliance (2019 general election - present)

M.K. Stalin formed the Secular Progressive Alliance in Tamil Nadu under the national United Progressive Alliance and led the alliance in 2019 general election in the state.[42][43] The Secular Progressive Alliance won 39 out of 40 Parliament seats, and 12 out of 21 in the Assembly by-election, with 52% of the vote. It was his first victory since taking charge as DMK President.[44][45]

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

In the 2021 Assembly elections, Stalin led the campaign for the Secular Progressive Alliance. They won 159 seats out 234, with the DMK itself winning an absolute majority with 132 seats. Stalin took his oath as chief minister on 7 May 2021 along with the rest of his cabinet.[46][47]

Having taken oath amid the second wave of the pandemic, Stalin started a war room to monitor the status of beds, ambulances and oxygen supply. He attended an SOS call of a lady, spoke with her for 30 minutes and arranged her a bed at a hospital.[48] He wore a PPE suit and visited the COVID-19 patients at their wards "against advice" in Government ESI Medical College Hospital.[49] A new economic advisory council was set up with leading economists, including Esther Duflo, Raghuram Rajan, Jean Drèze, Arvind Subramanian, and former Finance Secretary S Narayan.[50] Tamil Nadu was branded as a state with highest novel coronavirus vaccine wastage in the previous government but the Stalin government made the state to top in the list of states with lowest COVID-19 wastage policy.[51]

Stalin handed over appointment orders of the HR & CE Department to trained aspirants of all castes as temple priests in August 2021.[52] Stalin quoted the reformist leader Periyar in an official release which said Periyar fought for equal rights in worship for all those who believe in God.[53] In August 2021, Stalin ranked first among all Chief ministers of India with 42% in favour, in the "Mood of the Nation" survey done by the India Today magazine.[54] Stalin changed the name of Sri Lankan Tamil Refugee camps to called ‘rehabilitation camps' and said "They are not orphans, we are there for them".[55] In September 2021, he announced that Periyar's birth anniversary will be celebrated as Social Justice Day every year.[56]

In June 2021, CM Stalin announced that the state law ministry will review the legal cases filed by the previous government. In September 2021, Stalin's government withdrew over 5570 legal cases filed by the previous AIADMK government from the past 10 years against the journalists and the protestors seeking the repeal of the three farm laws promulgated by the Union government, Citizenship Amendment Act, methane extraction, neutrino project, Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant and the Chennai-Salem Expressway project.[57][58]

In May 2022, CM Stalin hailed the release of Perarivalan, the convict of Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and hugged him on his visit of gratitude at the chennai airport.[59][60][61][62][63]

Elections contested

Election Constituency Party Result Vote % Runner-up Runner-up Party Runner-up vote %
1984 Tamil Nadu state assembly election Thousand Lights DMK Lost 47.94 K.A. Krishnaswamy AIADMK 50.44[64]
1989 Tamil Nadu state assembly election Thousand Lights DMK Won 50.59 Thambidurai SSR ADK JL 30.05[65]
1991 Tamil Nadu state assembly election Thousand Lights DMK Lost 39.19 K.A. Krishnaswamy AIADMK 56.5[66]
1996 Tamil Nadu state assembly election Thousand Lights DMK Won 69.72 Zeenath Sheriffdeen AIADMK 22.95[67]
2001 Tamil Nadu state assembly election Thousand Lights DMK Won 51.41 S. Sekar TMC 43.78[68]
2006 Tamil Nadu state assembly election Thousand Lights DMK Won 46.0 Adi Rajaram AIADMK 43.72[69]
2011 Tamil Nadu state assembly election Kolathur DMK Won 47.7 Saidai Sa. Duraisamy AIADMK 45.78[70]
2016 Tamil Nadu state assembly election Kolathur DMK Won 54.3 J.C.D.Prabhakar AIADMK 31.8[71][72]
2021 Tamil Nadu state assembly election Kolathur DMK Won 60.86 Aadhi Rajaram AIADMK 20.27[46]




  • Nambikkai Natchathram (1978)


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Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
28 August 2018 – Present

External links

  • Tamil Nadu Assembly Profile