A day of celebration for AIADMK in Chennai

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on May 22, 2015

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Paneer Selvam arrives at the AIADMK party office in Chennai on Friday. BIJOY GHOSH

Peak hour traffic on Anna Salai barely made way through a single lane, the air shimmered with waves of heat rising from the tar road but people waited patiently for hours braving the 40 degree C heat to catch a glimpse of their beloved ‘Amma’.

The crowd had gathered from the morning waiting for their the AIADMK General Secretary, J Jayalalithaa, to make an appearance and pay her respects to party founder MGR’s statue before taking over again as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on Saturday. All the hall marks of a major political jamboree were in place – media persons jostling for space, supporters shouting slogans, songs blaring from loud speakers. Temporary awnings had been put up to shelter the ministers, MLAs and MPs who had gathered around the statue in the middle of the road.

Finally, around 3.30 pm, Jayalalalithaa’s convoy cut through the path cleared for it. She strewed flowers on a photo of MGR kept at the base of the statue and seconds later sped away.

The action packed day in Chennai started early with thousands of AIADMK supporters celebrating their leader’s return as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on Saturday.

Early birds

Party supporters started assembling at 5 am at AIADMK’s headquarters the MLAs assembled at the venue before 6.45 am and seven dissident MLAs from the main opposition party, including DMDK’s Vijaykanth, dashed in before the meeting started at 7 am.

The meeting to elect Jayalalithaa as the leader of the legislature party lasted for just ten minutes but the jubilation among supporters went on for over two hours. But they were disappointed that Chief Minister-elect and their leader Jayalalithaa, 67, did not give an audience. “No problem, we will see her in the afternoon,” said a party worker.

Celebration mounted to a fever pitch in the afternoon with thousands of party supporters from all over the State descending on to the Chennai roads. Traffic came to a standstill when Jayalalathaa came out of her Poes Garden residence around 1.30 pm to the thunderous jubilation of party supporters.

The convoy rushed to Raj Bhavan for the formal meeting of the leader with the Governor of Tamil Nadu K Rosaiah. When Jayalalithaa is sworn in as Chief Minister on Saturday, she will be going through the ritual for the fifth time during the three stints that the AIADMK has been voted to power under her leadership.

Party workers danced to the old tunes of MG Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa songs, and a live band kept their morale on a high. Hundreds of supporters greeted her at Anna Salai. Many were holding up the party flags and lined her entire route and showered her car with marigold.

Published on May 22, 2015
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