T. R. Baalu
Baalu addressing State Ministers of Road and Highways(India) at a conference in 2008.
|Principal Secretary of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam|
August 2018 - January 2020
|Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping|
|Prime Minister||Manmohan Singh|
|Minister of Environment and Forests|
|Prime Minister||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
|Minister of State for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Non-Conventional Energy Sources|
|Prime Minister||H.D. Deve Gowda|
|Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha|
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||K.N. Ramachandran|
|Preceded by||A. Krishnaswamy|
|Succeeded by||K.N. Ramachandran|
|Preceded by||R. Sridharan|
|Succeeded by||C. Rajendran|
|Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha|
|Born||15 June 1941|
Thalikottai, Tanjore district Madras Presidency, British India (Now Tamil Nadu ,India)
|Spouse(s)||Renuka Devi Baalu (m. 10 Sep 1970)|
T.R.B. Porkodi (m. 19 Oct 1970)
|Children||R.B. Raj Kumar|
Selva Kumar Baalu
and two daughters 
|Residence||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
Thalikottai Raju Baalu known as T.R. Baalu (born 15 June 1941) is an Indian Tamil politician. T.R. Baalu did his B.Sc. from New College, Chennai in Madras University and diploma in drafting engineering drawings from Central polytechnic Chennai. He is currently the MP of Lok Sabha of the Sriperumbudur constituency. He is a member of Lok Sabha of India and has been elected five times since 1996. He is an important leader of the DMK party and is known for political loyalty having been in the party since 1957. He served as the Principal Secretary of the party from August 2018 to January 2020
In his political career Baalu went to jail over 20 times for participating in demonstrations and agitations for public cause. He came to political limelight when he was jailed for one year under Maintenance of Internal Security Act of 1976 for protesting against Emergency clamped in the country. Baalu was first elected to Parliament as a member of Rajya Sabha in 1986. He was elected to Lok Sabha in 1996, 1998 and 2004 from Chennai South constituency and from Sriperumbudur constituency in 2009. He was Minister of State in the Ministry Petroleum and Natural Gas, also held additional charge of the then Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources and Cabinet Minister of Environment and Forests from 1999 to December 2003 and as Minister of Shipping and Road Transport and Highways from 2004 to 2009. T.R. Baalu is the Leader of DMK Parliamentary Party and is the only DMK member in the 30 member Joint Parliamentary Committee that probes the 2G spectrum case, where three members from DMK, namely A. Raja, Dayanidhi Maran and Kanimozhi are accused. Baalu is one of the prominent leaders to work towards the implementation of Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project while he was the minister of Shipping.
Baalu was centre of a controversy involving illicit allocation of gas to his family owned King Chemicals and King Hi Power in 2004. In 2010, there were widespread protests by the local farmers against the Baalu's family owned industrial alcohol distillery in Vadaseri, a village in Thanjavur district against the establishment of it would reduce the ground water supply in the region. Internal rivalry in the DMK party emerged between Baalu and S.S. Palanimanickam, the MP from Thanjavur constituency and the district secretary of the DMK in Thanjavur, in 2012, when Baalu initiated a survey for railway lines in Thanjavur district.
Career and Personal Life
Thalikottai Raju Baalu is an important leader of the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) Party. Baalu was born on 15 June 1941 to Rajuthevar and Vadivambal at Thalikottai in Thiruvarur District of Tamil Nadu. He belongs to Agamudayar. He obtained his Diploma in Engineering from Central Polytechnic in Chennai and graduated from New College, Chennai. Baalu's political career started at a very early age of sixteen when he joined the DMK party. He became Secretary of Chennai City District (Unsplit) unit of DMK in 1982.
Baalu was first elected to Parliament as a member of Rajya Sabha in 1986. He was elected to
Lok Sabha in 1996 from Chennai South constituency and became Minister of State in the Ministry Petroleum and Natural Gas. Towards the end of his tenure, he also held additional charge of the then Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources (now called the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy). Baalu was re-elected to Lok Sabha in 1998, 1999 and 2004 from the same constituency and again in 2009 from Sriperumbudur constituency. Baalu served as Cabinet Minister of Environment and Forests from 1999 to December 2003 and as Minister of Shipping and Road Transport and Highways from 2004 to 2009.
T.R. Baalu was the Leader of DMK Parliamentary Party during the 15th Loksabha and 17th Lok Sabha and He also held the charge as Chairman of the Department Related Standing Committee of Parliament of the Ministry of Railways. In addition, Baalu was a member of several parliamentary committees like Ethics Committee, House Committee and Consultative Committee of Ministry of Finance. He is also a Member of International World Affairs Council (IWAC).
In his political career Baalu went to jail over 20 times for participating in demonstrations and agitations for public cause. He came to political limelight when he was jailed for one year under MISA in 1976 for protesting against Emergency clamped in the country. He protested strongly against the midnight arrest and imprisonment of his party leader Karunanidhi on 30 June 2001.
Baalu is married to Renuka Devi and Porkodi and he has three sons and two daughters. His first son, R.B. Raj Kumar, is the Chairman of Kings India Chemicals. His second son, T.R.B. Rajaa is the 2-time MLA from Mannargudi Constituency in the 2011 Tamil Nadu election, and 2016 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election. His third son, Selvakumar Baalu is the CEO of Twice group.
Baalu has visited and been part of visiting delegation to countries like Australia, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland and Taiwan. His favourite past times include playing cricket.
Elections contested and positions held
|Year||Constituency||Result||Vote percentage||Opposition Candidate||Opposition Party||Opposition vote percentage|
|1996||Chennai South||Won||61.97||H. Ganesham||AIADMK||22.95|
|1998||Chennai South||Won||48.17||Jana Krishnamurthy||BJP||45.94|
|1999||Chennai South||Won||60.03||V. Dhandayudapani||INC||34.39|
|2004||Chennai South||Won||60.41||Sayeed Badar||AIADMK||36.79|
- 1986–1992 : was elected as a Member, Rajya Sabha
- 1996: Elected to Lok Sabha (Eleventh) for the 1st time
- 1996-1998: Minister of State, Petroleum, Natural Gas and Non-Conventional Energy Sources
- 1998: Elected to Lok Sabha (Twelfth) for the second time
- 1999: Elected to Lok Sabha (Thirteenth) for the third time
- 1999-2003: Cabinet Minister, Environment and Forests
- 2004: Elected to Lok Sabha (Fourteenth) for the fourth time from Chennai South (Lok Sabha constituency)
- 2004-2009: Cabinet minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways.
- 2009: Elected to Lok Sabha (Fifteenth) for the fifth time from Sriperumbudur
- 2019: Elected to Lok Sabha (Seventeenth) for the sixth time from Sriperumbudur
As a member of parliament and minister
Baalu is one of the prominent leaders to work towards the implementation of Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project. He was handling it during his tenure as the minister of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways. The project proposes linking the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka by creating a shipping canal through the shallow sea sometimes called Setu Samudram, and through the chain of islands variously known as Ram Sethu or the Adam's Bridge. A few organisations are opposing the dredging of Ramasethu on religious, environmental and economical grounds. Many of these parties and organisations support implementation of this project using one of the five alternative alignments considered earlier without damaging the structure considered sacred by Hindus. During 2006, the Supreme Court Baalu quashed a case requesting a ban on the project and issues notices to Baalu and the environment ministry. With 22 km of dredging remaining, the project is held from March 2010 by a Supreme Court order seeking the Central Government to clarify the status of the bridge as a national monument. He was recruited as a minister in 2009 during the second term on UPA coalition government as it was reported that the Prime Minister was unhappy with Baalu over the corruption charges in Sethusamudram project. But he continued as the head of the DMK parliamentary party and also part of various central committees.
DMK pulled out of the ruling UPA on 20 March 2013 following widespread protests in Tamil Nadu against the central government for not taking up the concerns of Tamils in Sri Lanka in the UN resolution against the alleged human rights violation against Tamils by Sri Lankan government. There was a brief controversy when Azhagiri did not accompany the contigency led by Baalu, the head of MPs from the DMK party, to tender resignation in the Prime minister's office and to hand over the letter of withdrawal to the President on 20 March 2013. It was claimed as a mark of protest against his father Karunanidhi's decision to pull out from the central ministry. Some sources claim he delayed his resignation as he was not kept in the loop while taking the decision and snubbed Baalu.
The fifth Joint parliamentary committee was constituted in February 2011 to probe 2G case. It is headed by P.C. Chacko and had 30 members, 15 each from the ruling UPA and opposition members belonging to BJP, JD (U), CPI, CPM, Trinamool Congress, BJD, DMK and the AIADMK in the 30-member panel accused P.C. Chacko of being "partisan" and demanded his removal (They submitted a memorandum to the Lok Sabha Speaker expressing their "no-confidence".) Three of the DMK MPs, namely, A. Raja, the IT and Telecommunication minister, Kanimozhi, the daughter of Karunanidhi and Rajya Sabha MP and Dayanidhi Maran, the nephew and IT and Telecommunication minister preceding A. Raja, are the three accused in the scam. Baalu is the only member from the DMK in the committee and he, along with other opposition members, snubbed the report as "half boiled" as the draft report gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram, while implicating the DMK minister A. Raja.
Balu's official site has been carrying photos of him, DMK leader M.K. Stalin and the then Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson. On 15 June 2019, Jan Eliasson expressed the veracity of the photos and suspected if the photos were photoshopped. This was part of the bigger conversation when DMK cadres started a social media propaganda that Jan Eliasson has written a book on world leaders he encountered and considered inspirational. The propaganda stated that Eliasson considered Stalin to be a celebrated leader whose potential India and Tamil Nadu have been ignoring. It stated that Eliasson considered his conversations he had with M.K. Stalin so insightful that he treasures his notes from their conversation till date. Political observers cross-checked this with Eliasson through a Social network site where Eliasson downright denied it and also questioned the validity of the photos that Balu has been using in his official site. Balu and his office have not taken down the photos even after this scandal broke-out. Eliasson further noted he has not written any books as alleged in the DMK propaganda let alone to have mentioned M.k.Stalin in it. Eliasson expressed his concerns how a meet and greet acquaintance could be used for political capital, twisting facts, in some other region of the world.
- "Political Career". Parliament of India. National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- RC, p. 465
- "The Wives & Wherefores". The Outlook. New Delhi. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- G., Srirnivasan (21 October 2012). "Palanimanickam's spat with Baalu comes out in open". The Hindu. Thanjavur. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "Statistical report on General elections, 1996 to the 11th Lok Sabha" (PDF). Election Commission of India. 1996. p. 387. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "Statistical report on General elections, 1998 to the 12th Lok Sabha" (PDF). Election Commission of India. 1998. p. 234. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "Statistical report on General elections, 1999 to the 13th Lok Sabha" (PDF). Election Commission of India. 1999. p. 225. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "Statistical report on General elections, 2004 to the 14th Lok Sabha" (PDF). Election Commission of India. 2004. p. 281. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "Statistical report on General elections, 2009 to the 15th Lok Sabha" (PDF). Election Commission of India. 2009. p. 124. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "Statistical report on General elections, 2014 to the 16th Lok Sabha". Election Commission of India. 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
- Gaur, p. 171
- "Alternative routes for Sethusamudram". The Nation. 22 April 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- Gaur 2006, p. 198
- "Complete Sethusamudram project at earliest: DMK". IBN Live. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
- Iyengar, Pushpa (26 October 2012). "Chennai Corner". Outlook. Chennai. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- Ghildiyal, Subodh. "Alagiri snubs dad's confidant". The Times of India. New Delhi. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- C., Raja Mohan (25 March 2013). "Sorry chapter of M K Alagiri performance as Union minister". The Indian Express. New Delhi. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "Srikant Jena Gets Alagiri's Chemicals-Fertilizers Portfolio". The Outlook. New Delhi. 20 March 2013. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- G.C., Shekhar (20 March 2013). "Pullout snub miffs Alagiri". The Telegraph. Chennai, India. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "2G scam: Govt sets up 30-member JPC". India Today. New Delhi. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "2G Scam: PC Chacko willing to consider amendments to JPC draft report". DNA India. New Delhi. 27 April 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "Open to amending Joint Parliamentary Committee draft report on 2G scam if convinced, says Chacko". India Today. New Delhi. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "2G scam: DMK MP T R Baalu gives dissent note". India TV News. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
- "Eliasson suspects photos are manipulated".
- "BJP spokesperson twitter confirming Eliasson's response".
- "Regional News Outlet Report".
- "Regional News Outlet Report".
- "Eliasson Response".
- Official biographical sketch in Parliament of India website
- Official website
- R.C., Rajamani. Portraits of India's Parliamentarians for the New Millennium: Lok Sabha. ISBN 9788121207027.
- Gaur, Mahendra (2006). Indian Affairs Annual 2006. Gyan Publishing House. ISBN 9788178355290.
|Party political offices|
|| Leader of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Party in the 15th Lok Sabha