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A day to remember for the AIADMK cadres

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on May 23, 2016

A section of the invitees, at the swearing-in ceremony of Tamil NaduChief Minister, J Jayalalithaa, and her Cabinet, in Chennai - Photo: BIJOY GHOSH

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For an event marking a historic win, the swearing-in ceremony of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa, and her cabinet of 28 Ministers, was a relatively subdued affair as compared with the festive mood on May 11, 2011, when she was sworn in previously.

Jayalalithaa was today sworn-in for the sixth time as the Chief Minister – second time consecutively – byGovernor K Rosaiah at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium. Along with her, a 28-member Cabinet also took the oath of office. Later in the afternoon, she added four more Ministers to the team.

For the first time in three decades, a party in power in the State is winning a second term in the Assembly elections. Tamil Nadu voters have swung alternatively between the AIADMK and its arch rival DMK till now.

The AIADMK previously won the 2011 elections and now the 2016 Assembly elections in succession.

The Centenary Auditorium, with a seating capacity of about 3,200, was jam-packed with party workers, industrialists, celebrities, including Jayalalithaa’s peers from the entertainment industry and government officials.

The crowds started gathering in bus loads outside the auditorium and the venue started filling up from the morning, about three hours ahead of the ceremony scheduled for 12.00 noon. The audience could see the chief minister’s convoy driving up on a big screen set up in the auditorium.

Crowds lined both sides of the road along the entire stretch of the beach road, flowers were strewn on the path of convoy and party workers cheered as the convoy entered the campus. Traffic in the heart of the city was grid locked for several hours. Teams of band players and traditional ‘Chenda’ drum players belted out fast-paced rhythms on the drums, crowds cheered and the police had a tough time controlling the mass of supporters.

Almost to the minute just past noon, Jayalalithaa walked on to the stage and she was soon followed by the Governor. The party workers in the galleries cheered loudly.

The formal ceremony, including the swearing-in and administration of oath of secrecy was over in about 30 minutes. The Chief Minister then proceeded to the Secretariat to mark her first day in office where she signed orders that covered some of her election promises, including cooperative loan waiver for small and marginal farmers, reducing the number of liquor shops and their working hours, 100 units free power to households and enhanced wedding assistance scheme.

The presence of MK Stalin, Treasurer, DMK, and former Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, was a surprise. Stalin also congratulated Jayalalithaa on his Facebook page. His attendance and congratulatory message came in for much appreciation on the social media. He was accompanied by former ministers EV Velu and K Ponmudy.

However, Stalin, was relegated to one of the back rows, which later in the afternoon elicited a critical statement from the DMK President M Karunanidhi accusing the government of slighting the DMK. Among the audience were leading industrialists – Chairman of the Ramco Group PR Ramasubrahmaneya Rajah and Vice Chairman, PR Venketrama Raja; Mallika Srinivasan, Chairman and CEO, TAFE; Preetha Reddy, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals; and AC Muthiah of the SPIC group.

The celebrities from the film industry included seniors MN Rajam, P Susheela, director P Vasu and actor Prabhu.

Published on May 23, 2016
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