Jaya to be sworn in CM of Tamil Nadu today
Jaya steered the AIADMK alliance to a spectacular victory in the polls by winning 200 of the total 234 seats.
Chennai: Jayalalithaa, who ensured a landslide victory for AIADMK in the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, will be sworn in as Chief Minister on Monday for a third term along with 33 others in her Cabinet in which she will retain police and home portfolios.
The swearing-in ceremony of the 63-year-old leader will take place at the historic Madras University's centenary auditorium at 12:15 pm where Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and CPI general secretary A B Bardhan will be present.
The details of the swearing-in ceremony and the ministers to be inducted were taken at a meeting Jayalalithaa had with Governor S S Barnala shortly after she was elected leader of the AIADMK legislature party.
In keeping with Tamil Nadu's political practice, it will be a single-party government despite AIADMK winning the elections in alliance with some other parties.
While 25 of the 34 members to be sworn in tomorrow will be youngsters and new faces, it will also include veterans like O Pannerselvam who was chief minister for a short time in 2001 when she could not assume the post because of legal problems. He will hold Finance now. The other old-timers include K A Sengottaiyan (Agriculture). However, other stalwarts including Jaya Kumar and Valarmathi do not find a place in the Cabinet.
The meeting came after the 146 newly-elected AIADMK MLAs chose her as their leader at a meeting at the party headquarters in Royapettah.
Jayalalithaa steered the AIADMK alliance to a spectacular victory in the elections by winning 200 of the total 234 seats.
After meeting the Governor, the AIADMK chief said her immediate priorities as Chief Minister would be to restore law and order and economy of the state "which has derailed" and control prices.
Jayalalilthaa, who had earlier ruled the state in 1991-96 and 2001-06, said, "My first priority will be to restore law and order. The state's economy has been totally derailed and there has been a lot of regression during the last five years.
"It is almost like having gone back to dark ages," she said, adding the state had to be brought back to the path of growth, development and prosperity.
Describing as "perennial," the acute power shortage situation, believed to be one of the factors that brought down the DMK, she said all issues would be addressed one by one.
Jaya assured people that they need not worry about their safety and security, promising that law and order would be "back on track".
A strong believer of astrology, Jayalalithaa will be taking oath as Chief Minister after the 'Rahu Kalam' (7.30-9 am) and 'Yama Kandam'(10.30am -12 noon), both considered inauspicious to start new ventures. Among others, Jayalalithaa will hold the portfolios of Public, Police, Home and Prevention of Corruption, a release from the Raj Bhavan said.
The ministers to be inducted include Natham R Viswanathan (Electricity and Prohibition and Excise) and C Ve Shanmugam (School Education). Dr S Vijay, representing Vellore constituency, is the Health Minister while Gokula Indra and Selvi Ramajayam besides Jayalalithaa are the women faces of the new cabinet. "On the advice of the Chief Minister-Designate J Jayalalithaa, the Governor of Tamil Nadu Surjit Singh Barnala, has approved the allocation of portfolios among the Council of Ministers," the release added.
Meanwhile, there are indications that Jayalalithaa might shift the seat of governance to Fort St George dumping the new Secretariat-cum-Assembly complex built during the DMK tenure. Belonging to the Defence Ministry and leased out to the state government, Fort St George had for long remained the seat of power since the British era before DMK government in 2009 took up construction of the new Assembly-Secretariat complex at Omdandurar Estate off Anna Salai in the heart of city, a pet project of then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.
The 17th century British heritage structure is now being given a face-lift, in an indication that Jayalalithaa would rule the state from there. A library for classical Tamil located inside the Assembly hall in the fort will be moved elsewhere, even as the Chief Minister's office is being spruced up, making it more or less certain that Jayalalithaa's office will be based here.
Jayalalithaa, who had criticised Karunanidhi for setting up the library in "haste", had come down hard on the design and aesthetics of the under-construction Assembly Secretariat complex, terming the cylindrical shaped building as a 'circus tent,' and vowed not to set her foot there.
Keeping her word, she had not participated in the Budget session proceedings held in the new complex. Her party's Deputy Legislature Party Leader O Panneerselvam had said on the concluding day of the Assembly session this year that his leader would not only storm back to power but rule the state from Fort St George.
Attempts had been earlier made even by Jayalalithaa (during her tenure as Chief Minister in 2001-06) to shift the Secretariat elsewhere citing lack of space.
However, it was the Karunanidhi-led government which made the first move in this regard, choosing the Omandurar Government Estate, located about half a km from Fort St George, to house the Assembly and Secretariat.
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