MK Stalin was the first to hold the office of Deputy Chief Minister, in the entire history of Tamil Nadu. He held office from 29-05-2009 to 15-05-2011.
The Chief Minister Kalaignar Karunanidhi's health was floundering after a spinal surgery, but the State needed a leader who has a grasp of people's needs and who is capable of shouldering responsibilities that balance authority, understanding and empathy – MK Stalin, the then Minister of Local Administration, became the natural choice for the position of Deputy Chief Minister – the first ever in the history of democratic Tamil Nadu.
On 29th May, 2009 the Chief Minister re-designated him as Deputy Chief Minister, making him next in the line of succession, and number two in government. A Raj Bhavan press release said : "On the advice of the Hon. Chief Minister, His Excellency the Governor has appointed Thiru M.K. Stalin, Minister for Rural Development and Local Administration, as Deputy Chief Minister. The subjects General Administration, District Revenue Officers, Industries, Minorities Welfare, Passports, Special Initiatives and Social Reforms hitherto held by the Chief Minister are re-allocated to Thiru.M.K. Stalin, in addition to the subjects now held by him."
On assuming the additional responsibility, Mr. Stalin said: "I've always consulted the Chief Minister while taking decisions. I will continue to do so." He, along with his well-wishers, met Mr. Karunanidhi and sought his blessings.
During his tenure MK Stalin brought some land-mark changes to operations and functioning of General Administration, District Revenue Officers, Industries, Minorities Welfare, Passports, Special Initiatives, Social Reforms, Municipal Administration, Rural Development, Panchayats and Panchayat Union, Poverty Alleviation Programs, Rural Indebtedness, Urban and Rural Water Supply.
The much-admired Deputy Chief Minister has always stayed as a grass-roots party worker. He is respected as a man on his own who has chartered his political path with efficacy and high standards of public life.
His slow and steady ascent within the party was a notch slower than his ascent into positions of Governance. The perfectionist that he is, he grooms himself to take on a role, than rush into it. Credited for his great grasp of policy-making and comprehension of people needs, M.K.Stalin’s tenure as the Deputy Chief Minister was remarkable in terms of his bold people-centric initiatives and for removing hurdles that plagued the system, towards delivering excellence in public life.
Though his position as Deputy Chief Minister came under unusual circumstances, it was befitting of a man known for his dedication, commitment and sound knowledge of governance. And the people of Tamil Nadu felt it was long overdue.