All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary Jayalalithaa will be sworn in Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for a third substantive term, along with 33 Ministers, at the Centenary Auditorium of the University of Madras at 12.15 p.m. on Monday.
After the AIADMK MLAs unanimously elected her leader of the legislature party, Ms. Jayalalithaa called on Governor Surjit Singh Barnala at the Raj Bhavan on Sunday morning and presented him with a letter informing him of the decision. As per convention, the Governor invited her to form a ministry at the earliest.
List of Ministers
In a sign that she was eager to get cracking on her administrative responsibilities, Ms. Jayalalithaa submitted a full-fledged list of ministers to be sworn in along with her and the portfolios allocated to them. The Raj Bhavan later said the Governor had approved the list and formally released it to the media.
Ms. Jayalalithaa, who will hold the Home portfolio, allocated Finance to her trusted lieutenant O. Panneerselvam, who had a brief tenure as Chief Minister in 2001-02 after she was unseated by a Supreme Court order.
Earlier, emerging from her meeting with the Governor, Ms. Jayalalithaa told journalists that her government's priorities would be to restore law and order, put the State's economy back on the rails, bring down the prices of essential commodities, and put an end to “perennial power cuts.”
In the past five years, there was “a lot of regression,” and it was “almost like having gone back to the dark ages. We have to take Tamil Nadu again on the path to prosperity, growth and development,” she said. “In future, people need have no worry about their safety and security.”
Price rise unfortunate
Ms. Jayalalithaa termed “unfortunate” the increase in petrol price. This would cause a great hardship to people, she said.
Asked about Congress president Sonia Gandhi greeting her on the phone, Ms. Jayalalithaa said Ms. Gandhi had congratulated her.
Earlier in the day, the AIADMK MLAs met under the leadership of the party presidium chairman, E. Madhusudhanan, in the absence of Ms. Jayalalithaa, and unanimously elected her legislature party leader.
The signed letter of the MLAs was handed over to her by treasurer O. Paneerselvam and headquarters secretary K.A. Sengottaiyan.