Jayalalithaa laid to rest; OP sworn in as CM
Chennai: Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa was laid to rest with full state honours on Tuesday at Marina Beach here. She was buried, not cremated, according to her community tradition, next to her mentor and former chief minister Dr MG Ramachandran.
With lakhs following the funeral procession all the way from Rajaji Hall where her body was kept in a glass casket for public to pay respects to Marina Beach, her last journey witnessed some of the most heart-breaking scenes. The last rites were conducted by her confidante Sasikala. While the Government of India announced a day of mourning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led a team of his ministers, including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, to pay their last respects for the departed leader. Condolences poured in from all the political parties in the country.
As soon as Jayalalithaa’s demise was announced at 11-30 on Monday night, security and funeral arrangements had been made. Over 15,000 police personnel were deployed across Chennai and state transport buses were ordered off the road, fearing mourners would resort to violence. But no untoward incident was reported. However, there was fracas outside Jayalalithaa’s residence when her admirers tried to gatecrash for a last glimpse of their beloved leader.
Panneerselvam takes oath as new CM
Meanwhile, Jayalalithaa’s obedient and close confidant O Panneerselvam, who was elected from Badinayakkanur constituency, took over as new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao administered oath of office and secrecy to Panneerselvam as Chief Minister and 31 ministers at Raj Bhavan.
Before the commencement of the swearing-in ceremony, the Governor read out his condolence message on the sad demise of Jayalalithaa and as a mark of respect to the departed soul a two-minute silence was observed. The swearing-in ceremony was attended by 133 MLAs of AIADMK (including 31 ministers), the Speaker, Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and top bureaucrats. -NSS