J Jayalalithaa, 68, on Monday (exactly a year since being sworn in after her stint in jail), was sworn in as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu by Governor K Rosaiah at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium. Twenty eight ministers, including her trusted lieutenant and finance minister O Panneerselvam, also took the oath with her.
This is Jayalalithaa's second consecutive and sixth term as the chief minister of the state.
Union Ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Pon Radhakrishnan, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and senior AIADMK leader M Thambidurai, and Jayalalithaa's aide Sasikala were seated in the front row.
Also present were DMK treasurer MK Stalin, former DMK Ministers EV Velu, Ponmudy, party MLAs Sekhar Babu, Vagai Chandrasekhar and Ku Ka Selvam. For decades, both AIADMK and DMK leaders had kept away from the oath-taking ceremonies of each other.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his congratulations on Twitter:
Congratulations to Jayalalithaa ji & her team on taking oath. Centre will work closely with new Govt. for progress of TN. @AIADMKOfficial
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 23, 2016
Earlier, she called on Rosaiah at the Raj Bhavan and submitted a letter informing him of her election as the Leader of the AIADMK legislature party. Rosaiah then congratulated her and gave a letter inviting her to form the government.
"Jayalalithaa furnished a list of people to be appointed ministers in her cabinet that was approved by Governor Rosaiah," an official release from the Raj Bhavan said.
Chennai: AIADMK Chief Jayalalithaa sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu pic.twitter.com/Z6xK8MIaNS
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 23, 2016
Jayalalithaa has the portfolios of Home and the All India Services, including the IAS, public and general administration.
Panneerselvam, who was earlier chief minister of the state from 2001-2002 and 2014-2015, is the minister for finance, personnel and administrative reforms, while former MP Dindigul C Srinivasan is be the minister for forests.
Several of the sitting ministers are holding offices again, including KP Anbazhagan (higher education), P Thangamani (electricity), Sellur K Raju (cooperation and labour), SP Velumani (municipal administration and rural development), CV Shanmugam (Law and courts), Edappadi K Palaniswami (public works, highways and minor ports), KT Rajenthra Bhalaji (rural industries), D Jayakumar (fisheries), RB Udhayakumar (revenue), SP Shanmuganathan (milk and dairy development), MC Sampath (labour), KC Veeramani (commercial taxes), R Kamaraj (food and civil supplies) and C Vijayabaskar (Health),
Including Jayalalithaa, there are four women in the cabinet besides three doctors and 13 new faces.
The new faces are Dindigul Srinivasan (forest), V Saroja (social welfare), KC Karuppannan (environment), OS Manian (textiles and handlooms), Udumalai Radhakrishnan (housing), R Duraikannu (agriculture and animal husbandry), Kadambur Raju (information), Benjamin (school education), Vellamandi N Natarajan (tourism), S Valarmathi (backward classes and minorities welfare), VM Rajalakshmi (Adi Dravidar welfare), M Manigandan (IT), and MR Vijayabaskar (transport).
Chennai: Oath taking ceremony of Tamil Nadu CM and the council of ministers, underway in Madras University pic.twitter.com/U1Sh8VV8vl
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 23, 2016
The Deputy Mayor of Chennai Corporation P Benjamin, who won from Maduravoyal amid tough competition from DMK, is the minister for school education and sports and youth welfare. MR Vijayabaskar is the transport minister.
At the Madras University Centenary Auditorium, Jayalalithaa was welcomed by top state government officials, led by Chief Secretary K Gnanadesikan, with a bouquet of flowers. When Governor Rosaiah arrived, Jayalalithaa welcomed him with a bouquet and introduced her cabinet colleagues in keeping with the protocol.
Ministers in the outgoing cabinet Natham Viswanathan, Vaithilingam, newly-elected MLAs, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs of the ruling party were also amongst the audience.
In many parts of the state, arrangements had been made for live telecasts of the ceremony using giant LED screens.
Jayalalithaa took her oath alone and others took it in groups. The ceremony was brief and lasted less than 30 minutes.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: May 23, 2016 14:51 PM