Jayalalithaa verdict: Emotions ride high at the CM Panneerselvam swearing in

Emotions ride high at the swearing in
Chennai, Sep 29: 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.

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.

A special court in Bangalore had on Saturday convicted and sentenced Jayalalithaa to four years simple imprisonment and slapped a Rs 100 crore fine in the 18 year old disproportionate assets case.

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. With a lack of clarity and information, speculations and rumours were rife since morning that the ceremony would take place in the evening on various grounds.

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


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