In a short ceremony which lasted less than 30 minutes, J Jayalalithaa was sworn in as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the second consecutive term, after she said: "With God as my witness, I take this oath."
The ceremony was preceded by pomp and fanfare typical of Tamil Nadu politics. The entire route from Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence to the swearing-in venue was filled with cheering AIADMK supporters who showered rose petals on her vehicle as it whizzed past.
Musicians played instruments welcoming the AIADMK supremo as many party workers danced. Traditional music like nadaswaram and chenda melam rented the air. The entire stretch leading to the venue was decorated with festoons and party workers waved party flags. Jayalalithaa left her residence at around 11.45 am and arrived at the Madras University Centenary Building at 12 pm. Her convoy wound its way through a sea of party supporters and general public who gave her a rousing welcome by gathering on both sides of the road.
Announcements galore on day 1
By being elected to the post for the second consecutive time, the AIADMK supremo followed in her mentor MG Ramachandran's footsteps. Little surprise then, that one of her first announcements after being sworn in as CM for the second term was an extension of his scheme to provide free meals in schools.
Jayalalithaa's first signature: Free breakfast for students in government schools pic.twitter.com/kE3YXTWrD0
— News18 (@CNNnews18) May 23, 2016
With prohibition having been a major poll plank this time, this issue also was a point of priority for Jayalalithaa. She ordered closure of 500 state-run liquor outlets and cut short timing of retail outlets by two hours. TASMAC stores — state-run liquor shops — will open at 12 noon and close at 10 pm, which means that they will now open two hours later than earlier.
Jayalalithaa also waived crop loans of small farmers, fulfilling a significant poll promise made in the party manifesto. She also reiterated her poll promises of 100 units of free power and eight grams of gold for mangalsutras for women.
However, it remains to be seen to what extent the announcements translate into reality in Tamil Nadu, and for how long.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: May 23, 2016 15:18 PM