Jayalalithaa back as Tamil Nadu CM, for a fifth time

23 May 2015


AIADMK supremo J Jayalilathaa, who had to resign as Tamil Nadu chief minister nearly eight months ago over corruption charges (See: Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa convicted in assets case, may have to quit), has been resurrected as chief minister of the state for the fifth time, in what is seen as the return of Dravidian party politics.

Jayalalithaa was chosen as legislature party leader and chief minister by her party on Friday, after the Karnataka high court gave a clean chit to the AIADMK chief and three others, clearing them of "all charges" in the 19-year-old case on 11 May, paving the way for her return to power (Jayalalithaa acquitted; set to return as CM).

Jayalilatha took oath as chief minister of Tamil Nadu at a simple function held at the University of Madras Centenary Auditorium in Chennai on Saturday, even as Tamil Nadu celebrated.

Twenty-eight other ministers also took oath along with her in a brief ceremony.

She returns to power nearly eight months after she was forced to quit over corruption charges.

Jayalilathaa, 67, was administered oath of office and secrecy by Tamil Nadu governor K Rosaiah.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by BJP leaders, including union minister Pon Radhakrishnan and national office bearer of the party H Raja.

Actors Rajinikanth, Sarathkumar and eminent music composer Ilayaraja were among the long list of dignitaries who attended the function.

On Friday, Jayalalithaa had called on the state governor and submitted a list of names for inclusion in the cabinet to be led by her.

After her meeting, she went to pay floral tributes to leaders including party founder MG Ramachandran, C N Annadurai and E V Ramasamy, popularly known as Periyar.

Earlier in the day, Panneerselvam, also the party treasurer, moved a resolution proposing her name as the legislature party leader, which was seconded by electricity minister Natham R Vishwanathan and adopted unanimously.

Party MLAs greeted the announcement with thunderous applause and soon celebrations broke out in various parts of the state which was claimed to have witnessed a spate of suicides following Jayalalithaa's conviction.

Expressing solidarity with Jayalalithaa, rebel MLAs of the opposition DMDK, including R Sundarrajan, Tamil Azhagan, K Pandiarajan, and R Santhi, participated in the AIADMK Legislature Party meeting.

Jayalalithaa was disqualified following her conviction in the Rs 66.66 crore disproportionate assets case by a trial court in Bengaluru on September 27. The Karnataka High Court had subsequently acquitted her of the charges on May 11.

A statement from Raj Bhavan said, "The Governor of Tamil Nadu accepted the resignation of Panneerselvam and his Council of Ministers from the forenoon of May 22, 2015."

Panneerselvam was sworn-in as chief minister on 29 September last year, two days after Jayalalithaa's conviction.

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