New Delhi: Sparking speculation within the political circles and putting more pressure on its ally DMK, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has called AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa to congratulate her for the spectacular victory in the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.

Sonia Gandhi on Sunday spoke to would-be Chief Ministers of her party and also congratulated Jayalalithaa, giving a subtle political message. However, the party leaders have termed this gesture as a courtesy call. Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natrajan said, “Sonia Gandhi has congratulated all the would-be Chief Ministers. She had also called up Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar when he came to power second time. This is just a tradition in democracy.”

When asked about future political alliance AIADMK, she left it on the party high-command. It is noteworthy to mention here that when there was a tussle between the Congress and the DMK over the seat sharing issue, there was enough indication of political bonhomie with ADIMK. Jayalalithaa had expressed her willingness to come with Congress if the latter was ready to dump the DMK. But the DMK’s number in Parliament has saved it.

Although there is not a sea change in the situation, Congress has got an opportunity to exert a pressure on DMK, which is still claiming its right over Telecom Ministry despite A Raja’s arrest. 

However, after DMK’s political debacle in the state, Sonia’s gesture has put a pressure on the southern ally. The sources also perceive that this talk may blossom into a political alliance when the Congress has also bore the brunt of 2G Spectrum scam.

Meanwhile, after thumbing victory in West Bengal, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee will personally meet Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to invite them for attending her swearing-in ceremony.

Jaya to be sworn in on Monday

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 on Monday in Chennai.

The 63-year-old leader will be sworn in as Chief Minister on Monday 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.

The party had made ‘deteriorating law and order’ besides power cut and corruption key poll issues which seemed to have grounded the DMK which ended up with only 23 seats, suffering one of its worst ever poll debacles.

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.

New home for Jaya

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, a pet project of the then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.

The 17th century British heritage structure is now being given a face-lift, in an indication that Jayalalithaa would rule the state from there.

A library for classical Tamil located inside the Assembly hall in the fort will be moved elsewhere, even as the Chief Minister's office is being spruced up, making it more or less certain that Jayalalithaa's office will be based here.

Jayalalithaa, who had criticised Karunanidhi for setting up the library in ‘haste’, had come down hard on the design and aesthetics of the under-construction Assembly Secretariat complex, terming the cylindrical shaped building as a 'circus tent,' and vowed not to set her foot there.

Keeping her word, she had not participated in the Budget session proceedings held in the new complex.

Attempts had been earlier made even by Jayalalithaa (during her tenure as Chief Minister in 2001-06) to shift the Secretariat elsewhere citing lack of space.

Jaya’s Cabinet

(1)  J.Jayalalithaa - Chief Minister, Public, Indian
                                     Administrative Service,
                                     Indian Police Service,
                                     Indian Forest Service,
                                     General Administration,
                                     District Revenue Officers
                                     Prevention of Corruption
                                     Police, Home
(2) O.Panneerselvam -     Finance
(3) K.A.Sengottaiyan -      Agriculture
(4) Natham R.Viswanathan - Electricity, rohibition and Excise
(5) K.P.Munisamy     -       Municipal Administration, Rural Development
(6) C.shanmugavelu   -     Industries
(7) R.Vaithilingam   -        Housing and Urban Development
(8) S.S.Krishnamoorthy -   Food
(9) C.Karuppasamy      -   Animal Husbandry
(10) P.Palaniappan      -   Higher Education
(11) C.Ve.Shanmugam -   School Education
(12) Sellur K.Raju      -     Cooperation
(13) K.T.Pachamal       -   Forests
(14) Edappadi K.Palanisamy -Highways and Minor Ports
(15) S.P.Shanmuganathan -HR & CE
(16) K.V.Ramalingam     -Public Works
(17) S.P.Velumani       -  Special Programme Implementation
(18) T.K.M.Chinnayya    - Backward Classes
(19) M.C.Sampath        - Rural Industries
(20) P.Thangamani       - Revenue
(21) G.Senthamizhan    - Information
(22) S.Gokula Indira    -  Commercial Taxes and Registration
(23) Selvi Ramajayam   - Social Welfare
(24) B.V.Ramanaa        - Handloom and Textiles
(25) R.B.Udhayakumar   -Information and Technology
(26) N.Subramanian      - Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare
(27) V.Senthil Balaji   -    Transport
(28) N.Mariyam Pichai   -  Environment
(29) K.A.Jayapal        -    Fisheries
(30) E.Subaya           -    Law, Courts and Prisons
(31) Budhichandhiran    - Tourism
(32) S.T.Chellapandian  - Labour
(33) Dr.V.S.vijay       -      Health
(34) N.R.Sivapathi      -    Sports and Youth Welfare

 

 

(JPN/ Bureau/ Agencies)