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TN Ministers take oath with tears in their eyes

TN Ministers take oath with tears in their eyes
Highlights

TN Ministers take oath with tears in their eyes, Disappointment, helplessness and a sense of being orphaned without the presence of their \'Amma\' was writ large on the visage of many Ministers.

  • Panneerselvam, cabinet colleagues leave for Bangalore
  • AIADMK workers hold demonstrations, fast across TN
  • Seek compensation from AIADMK: PMK’s Ramadoss
  • Kollywood to shut operations in support of Jaya today

Chennai: Disappointment, helplessness and a sense of being orphaned without the presence of their 'Amma' was writ large on the visage of many Ministers, including new Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who took oath of office today at the Durbar Hall in the Raj Bhavan.
Panneerselvam puts a picture of jailed party chief J Jayalalithaa in his pocket while taking oath as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Monday. (right) Emotionally overwhelmed AIADMK leaders during their oath ceremony
Nothing exemplified the unflinching loyalty to AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa than the action of Panneerselvam in placing a photograph of their leader on the podium just as he was about to be sworn in.

Tears rolled down the faces of many ministers as they came to the podium to be administered the oath of office and secrecy. The mood in the closed hall was anything but celebratory with no exchange of greetings, claps or smiles.

It was clear that the event was being observed strictly more of a procedure than a ceremony by the new government. Though unrest and violence faded in the streets, the initial shock and tension after the conviction and jailing of Jayalalithaa was still afresh in the mood of the hall.

Every move and mood in the hall reminded one that the 66-year old AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa or 'Amma' or 'Puratchi Thalaivi' as she is fondly called by her partymen -- was confined in a prison in Bangalore hundreds of kilometres away, much against the wishes of lakhs of her followers.

Even the swearing-in ceremony was not organised at Raj Bhavan with a clear schedule, with an invitation being sent to the Chief Justice of Madras High Court only at the eleventh hour.

The media was also not invited by Raj Bhavan authorities for the fuction.

The swearing in ceremony today would probably rank as the most uncelebrated one after 2001 when Panneerselvam became Chief Minister in a similar situation.

Hours after being sworn in, O Panneerselvam left for Bangalore with his senior Cabinet colleagues to call on the AIADMK supremo. Continuing their protest against the conviction of Jayalalithaa for the third day, party workers and sympathisers observed a fast and staged demonstrations across the state.

Police said no untoward incident was reported so far in the state, which witnessed sporadic violence such as stone pelting and torching of vehicles in the aftermath of the Bangalore special court's verdict sentencing Jayalalithaa to four years simple imprisonment in the wealth case on Sep 27.

AIADMK's women's wing functionaries held a hunger strike at party founder M G Ramachandran's Memorial at the Marina Beach here.

Similar protests by various wings of the party were also held at various places including Madurai, Erode, Tuticorin, Rameswaram and Kanyakumari Districts where slogans hailing Jayalalithaa were raised.

In Coimbatore, about 2,500 AIADMK workers and sympathisers observed a fast while 15 party men tonsured their heads as a vow for the early release of their leader.

Led by City Mayor and AIADMK District Secretary Ganapati Rajkumar, some of the workers sporting black shirts, raised slogans in support of Jayalalithaa and expressed hope that she would come clean.

A Madurai report said theatres were closed in the city in expression of solidarity with Jayalalithaa.

The Tamil Nadu government should recover from the AIADMK party the losses the state and people suffered as a result of the violence, PMK leader S. Ramadoss said Monday.

In a show of solidarity with Jayalalithaa, the Tamil film industry will shut its operations, including screening of films, and hold a day-long fast here on Tuesday.

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