All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalitha Jayaram was sworn in as chief minister of Tamil Nadu for a second time on Monday. A five-member Cabinet was sworn in along with her.
Governor Fathima Beevi administered the oath of office and secrecy to Jayalalitha and her core team at the Raj Bhawan in Madras.
The swearing in was earlier scheduled for 1730 IST, but the event was delayed by half an hour as Jayalalitha arrived late at the Raj Bhawan.
The others who took the oath with Jayalalitha were former Union minister M Thambidurai, former state ministers C Ponnaiyan, D Jayakumar, Aiyavu Vandaiyar and R Saroja. All of them took the oath in Tamil in the name of god.
After the swearing-in, Jayalalitha drove to the state secretariat at Fort St George to take charge of the administration right away.
The swearing-in was scheduled for Monday because Tuesday is not considered an auspicious day by Tamils.
Earlier, Governor Beevi invited Jayalalitha to form, and head, the government in the state.
At around 1330 IST, Jayalalitha had gone to the Raj Bhavan to meet the governor and stake her claim to form the government.
Leaders of alliance partners such as the Congress, the Pattali Makkal Katchchi and the Tamizh Maanila Congress had earlier indicated that they have no problem with her being sworn in chief minister.
The alliance had secured 194 out of the 233 seats for which results had been announced. The AIADMK alone had captured 132 seats and indicated that it was going to form a government on its own.
"The governor has invited Puratchi Thalaivi Jayalalitha Jayaram to head the government. She will be sworn in at 5.30pm today," AIADMK member of Parliament and former chief electoral officer of Tamil Nadu Mallaichaami confirmed to rediff.com
Shortly before meeting the governor, Jayalalitha arrived at the party headquarters on Lloyd's Road, Royapettah.
Five minutes later, she left the premises.
In the intervening period, the newly elected AIADMK legislators duly elected her, by unanimous acclaim, to head the legislative party. Which, in other words, means that the AIADMK leaders indicated that she was their choice for the chief minister's post.
At noon today (Monday), All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalitha Jayaram is expected to arrive at the party's GHQ on Lloyd's Road, Royapettah.
"She will be immediately elected leader of the AIADMK legislature party," said K K Kaliappan, senior party leader and member of the Lok Sabha.
Jayalalitha has sought a meeting with Tamil Nadu Governor Fathima Beevi later this afternoon, at which time she will stake her claim to form the next government.
The victorious AIADMK MLAs have been pouring into Madras since early Monday morning and, by the noon deadline, almost all of them are expected to be present at the party office for the election.
Needless to add, the mood is incredibly upbeat, after the party upset pollsters and pundits alike to annihilate the ruling DMK-led alliance at the hustings. The AIADMK and its allies won 196 seats against 36 for the erstwhile ruling alliance and one seat going to 'Others'.
For all the euphoria, however, the AIADMK is playing this one very, very carefully, considering every possible option and preparing fallback positions for each. Thus, discussions among the senior party leaders have increasingly revolved around the 'What if?' scenario -- what if the governor, for whatever reason, refuses to permit Jayalalitha to be sworn in as chief minister?
The fact that such a question is being asked internally is testimony to the prevailing confusion -- no one quite knows just what is possible, and what is not, constitutionally, in the context of Jayalalitha's conviction.
Thus, by way of fail-safe, the consensus is that two other names should be discussed and decided upon, so that in the event the governor throws a spoke in Jayalalitha's wheel, she can immediately put forward the alternative name without further delay.
At the time of writing this, the weight of opinion among the elected representatives was that either K Kalimuthu, chairman of the AIADMK, or M Thambidurai, former Union minister, were the best possible choices to head the government, in the event Jayalalitha does not get the nod.
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