Two hundred and twenty nine Members of Legislative Assembly on Monday took the oath on Monday, the inaugural day of the 14th Assembly.

The first to take the oath was Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and the last was her party legislator, D. Haridoss.

When pro-tem speaker C.K. Thamizharasan administered the oath to the Chief Minister at 12.38 p.m., most members of the House stood up. Among them were Vijayakant and Panruti S. Ramachandran (Desiya Murpokku Dravida Katchi) and A. Soundararajan and K. Balabharathi (Communist Party of India – Marxist).

Ms. Jayalalithaa left the Assembly at about 12.45 p.m. as she had to go to Tiruchi to pay homage to the body of Environment Minister N. Mariyam Pichai, who died in a road accident in Perambalur earlier in the day.

Former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and former Law Minister Durai Murugan (both Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) and Sports and Youth Welfare Minister N. R. Sivapathy and R. Manoharan of the AIADMK, both elected from Tiruchi district, were the absentees.

While Mr. Karunanidhi was in New Delhi to meet his daughter Kanimozhi at the Tihar jail, Mr. Durai Murugan accompanied him. Mr. Sivapathy and Mr. Manoharan stayed back in Tiruchi.

The proceedings commenced with the House condoling the death of the Environment Minister.

Mr. Thamizharasan, in his brief speech, welcomed the Chief Minister, who, he said, had scored a sterling victory after accomplishing a “silent revolution.”

He announced that the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker was scheduled for May 27. Nominations could be submitted till Thursday noon.

Once the Chief Minister and Ministers were administered the oath, leaders of various legislature parties followed suit, with Mr. Vijayakant at the head. Mr. Soundararajan, M. Arumugham of the CPI, J. Guru of the Pattali Makkal Katchi, K. Krishnasamy of the Puthiya Tamizhagam, M.H. Jawahirullah of the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi and R. Sarath Kumar (All India Samuthuva Makkal Katchi) were among them.

Former Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin took the oath followed by 18 former Ministers, who included K.P. Krishnan, Thangam Thennarasu, Nainar Nagendran, Suba Thangavelan, E.V. Velu and Pollachi V. Jayaraman.

In respect of other members, their names were read out in the alphabetical order before being administered the oath. Originally, Congress MLA from Hosur K. Gopinath took the oath in Telugu. Later, he did it in English as the pro-tem Speaker, in his address, said members could use Tamil or English.