Jaya to be sworn in CM tomorrow

Chennai: AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa, who steered the party-led alliance to a spectacular win in the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, will take over the reins of the government for a third time tomorrow.

The 63-year-old leader will be sworn in as Chief Minister tomorrow at the Madras University`s centenary auditorium at 12.15 PM, Chief Secretary S Malathi announced after the AIADMK chief met Governor S S Barnala to stake claim to form government.

The meeting came after the 146 newly-elected AIADMK MLAs chose her as their leader at a meeting at the party headquarters in Royapettah.

Senior AIADMK leaders like former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, D Jayakumar and K A Senkottaiyan are expected to be inducted into the new cabinet, whose size is not known.

Jayalalithaa steered the AIADMK alliance to a spectacular victory in the elections by winning 200 of the total 234 seats.

After meeting the Governor, the AIADMK chief said her immediate priorities as Chief Minister would be to restore law and order and economy of the state "which has derailed" and control prices.

Jayalalilthaa, who had earlier ruled the state in 1991-96 and 2001-06, said, "My first priority will be to restore law and order. The state`s economy has been totally derailed and there has been a lot of regression during the last five years.

"It is almost like having gone back to dark ages," she said, adding the state had to be brought back to the path of growth, development and prosperity.

Describing as "perennial," the acute power shortage situation, believed to be one of the factors that brought down the DMK, she said all issues would be addressed one by one.

She assured people that they need not worry about their safety and security, promising that law and order would be "back on track".

A strong believer of astrology, Jayalalithaa will be taking oath as Chief Minister after the `Rahu Kalam` (7.30-9 am) and `Yama Kandam`(10.30am -12 noon), both considered inauspicious to start new ventures.

Meanwhile, there are indications that Jayalalithaa might shift the seat of governance to Fort St George dumping the new Secretariat-cum-Assembly complex built during the DMK tenure.

Belonging to the Defence Ministry and leased out to the state government, Fort St George had for long remained the seat of power since the British era before DMK government in 2009 took up construction of the new Assembly-Secretariat complex at Omdandurar Estate off Anna Salai in the heart of city, a pet project of then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.