Shanmugam to meet Jayalalitha today

PONDICHERRY, MAY 20. The Chief Minister-designate, Mr. P. Shanmugham, said here today that he had proposed to meet the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalitha, and the TMC leader, Mr. G. K. Moopanar, at Chennai tomorrow.

The 11-member Congress, which has the support of the two-member TMC, has been assured of outside support by the three- member AIADMK and Mr. Shanmugham was elected the CLP leader on Saturday in the presence of the two AICC delegates, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mr. Motilal Vora.

He presented a letter to the Lt. Governor, Dr. Rajani Rai, staking claim to form government and also letters of support of the TMC and the AIADMK.

Meanwhile, the DMK State committee convenor and former Chief Minister, Mr. R.V. Janakiraman, in a statement, took exception to the Congress move to form the government under the head of a person, who had not contested the poll. The Lt. Governor should not permit the Congress to form government, he said, adding that it was an insult to democracy.

Mr. Janakiraman contended that on the earlier occasion also, Mr. Shanmugham, a non-member, was made Chief Minister and a by- election was held and this is being sought to be done again now. Mr.Janakiraman said such bad precedents had been striking at the roots of democracy.

(Mr. Shanmugham became Chief Minister in March last year without being a member of the Assembly. He successfully contested the bypoll from Yanam subsequently in May last year after the Independent member, Mr. Malladi Krishna Rao, relinquished the post.)