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Tamil Nadu: It's Amma On Mother's Day!

Not just a politician but a mother, said Jayalalitha; and a surprised sudden swearing in ended all suspense.

Tamil Nadu: It's Amma On Mother's Day!
Amma's supporters jubilantly wave as she is sworn in as the chief minister again
Tamil Nadu: It's Amma On Mother's Day!
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The newly sworn in Tamil Nadu chief minister J.Jayalalitha tonight asserted she would overcome any obstacle in the way of her getting elected to the state assembly.

Addressing a press conference soon after being sworn-in as chief minister, she said "in 1996 when the aiadmk had faced a massive defeat at the hustings every one had written off the party and said Jayalalitha's political career is over but here I am today."

"Just as i have overcome insurmountable hurdles put in my way by political adversaries and those inimical to me with the blessings of God, MGR and the people, I will overcome everything", she said responding to a question how she expected to overcome her disqualification from contesting elections and fulfill the condition of getting elected to the state assembly within six months.

Pledging to provide an efficient and corruption-free government in the state, jayalalitha said she would strive to prove worthy of the enormous faith and trust reposed in her by the people and strain every nerve to make tamil nadu the number one state in the country.

"It will not be the aim of my government to take revenge or behave in a vindictive manner against anyone to provide a responsive and responsible administration". However, she said, if someone had done anything wrong then appropriate action would be taken.

To a question, Jayalalitha said she did not see any political realignment at the centre on the basis of the outcome of the elections to four state assemblies and Pondicherry.

Answering in the negative when asked if she expected to be sworn-in today as chief minister, Jayalalitha said "everything happened in a rush and great speed.I myself did not expect to be sworn-in today."

To another question about the priorities of her government, she said her first aim would be to ensure soon that there was no one below the poverty line. She said her government would try to translate the AIADMK party's comprehensive election manifesto into reality.

Asked if she had anything special lined up for the weaker sections of society, she said only the erstwhile AIADMK government had followed the 33 per cent reservation for women.

Jayalalitha, who took charge of the chief minister's office soon after swearing-in, said the first files signed by her was the appointment of a new secretary and deputy secretary to the chief minister.

Vote Shares
PMK or Pattali Makkal Katchi's pulling out from NDA to align with the AIADMK on the eve of the polls proved to be beneficial to the party as its strength in the assembly had gone up from four to 20 this time. Its vote share had also increased from 3.04 per cent in 1996 to 5.24 per cent. The party secured 7.14 per cent of votes during 1999 parliament polls, winning five lok sabha seats.

The vote share of the congress had declined to 2.38 per cent from 5.61 per cent in 1996. But the party, which could not win even a single seat in 1996, won seven of the 14 seats it contested.

CPI's vote percentage had come down from 2.12 per cent to 1.49 percent while CPI(M)maintained its share at 1.58 percent.

New justice party, Makkal Tamizh Desam and Puthiya Tamizhgam toally accounted for two percent of total votes.

MGR ADMK, an ally of the DMK, had won two of the three seats it contested.

Tamil Maanila Congress Democratic Forum, floated by dissident TMC leader P. Chidambaram won both the seats it contested.

Highest Margin
Former union minister, M Thambidurai, has the distinction of having won the assembly polls with the highest margin and the deputy speaker of the Tamil Nadu assembly, Parithi Ilamvazhuthi, with the lowest.

While Thambidurai defeated his nearest DMK rival at Bargur in Dharmapuri district with a margin of 49,306 votes, Parithi defeated his nearest aiadmk candidate John Pandiyan in Egmore by a margin of just 86 votes.

Thambidurai was sworn-in as one of the ministers of the Jayalalitha cabinet today.

Meanwhile former chief minister M Karunanidhi, his son and city mayor M Stalin, actor-turned-politician Nepolean and senior ministers K Anbazhagan, Arcot N Veerasamy, Ko Si Mani and Duraimurugan were among those who managed to win from the DMK.

Legal Opinion
Earlier, legal experts were divided in their opinion on the issue of Jayalalitha becoming Tamil Nadu chief minister in the wake of her disqualification from contesting the assembly election.

While congress party supported Jayalalitha to become the chief minister, congress parliamentary party (cpp) secretary and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal had said, "I personally feel that she should discuss with the governor and not opt for the post on moral grounds".

Former union law minister Shanti Bhushan and former secretary general of lok sabha Subhash Kashyap felt she couldnot become the chief minister as she had already been disqualified to become a member of the assembly.

However, senior lawyers like P.P. Rao, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, C.S.Vaidyanathan and supreme court bar association secretary Ashok Arora had maintained that the governor should call her to assume office of chief minister after she was elected as the legislature party leader.

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