Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly M K Stalin on Friday met Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O Paneerselvam in Chennai. A political blame game erupted after Paneerselvam was given charge of all her portfolios for the time being, with ailing Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa continuing at the helm of affairs. DMK had questioned the move. According to a media report, the Opposition asked whether Jayalalitha signed the advisory or not, while the party supremo Karunanidhi said that leaders are not being allowed to meet her. Dismissing the demand, AIADMK then said the chief minister’s advise was given to Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao complying with all norms and questions like the one posed by the Opposition party does not arise at all.
According to Governor Rao, the allocation of the portfolios took place on the advice of Amma, while DMK questioned the move, hinting at a need for a revelation of their leader’s health.
“Under Clause (3) of Article 166 of the Constitution of India, the Governor of Tamil Nadu today allocated the subjects hitherto dealt by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to O Paneerselvam,” a Raj Bhavan press release said. Paneerselvam, who holds the Administrative reforms portfolio, in addition to Finance, “will also preside over cabinet meetings”, it said.
“This arrangement has been made as per the advice of the Chief Minister and will continue until the Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa resumes her duties,” it said. “Jayalalithaa will continue to be the Chief Minister,” the release added.
68-year-old Jayalalithaa had been admitted to Apollo Hospital here since September 22 for fever and dehydration. Karunanidhi had also asked the government to issue photographs of Jayalalitha, which as a demand drew much flak from other leaders.