Jayalalithaa keeps five poll promises on Day 1

J Jayalalithaa, 68, took oath as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the sixth time on Monday, and cleared five files, waiving farmers’ debt and providing limited free electricity to domestic consumers.

She also started a phased prohibition, providing free gold for marriages and free power for handloom weavers. All these were major promises her party made in their manifesto before the Assembly elections. Jayalalithaa’s All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) won 134 out of 232 Assembly seats. Election for two has been postponed to June.

The chief minister and 28 of her Cabinet colleagues were sworn in by Governor K Rosaiah on Monday at the Madras University’s Centenary Hall. The list included 13 new faces and four women. S Semmalai has been named as pro-tem Speaker. Jayalalithaa was sworn in as chief minister for the second consecutive term, a rare feat for a political party in Tamil Nadu. Despite the rivalry between the two parties, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) treasurer M K Stalin attended the swearing-in ceremony. This was the second time Stalin attended Jayalalithaa’s swearing in. In 2001, as Chennai mayor, he, along with a few DMK leaders, attended the function. After the ceremony, the chief minister drove straight to her office at the Secretariat and signed the five files. The first was an order to waive off small and medium farmers’ loans in the cooperative banks. This would cost the state around Rs 5,780 crore. Also, domestic users are now entitled to 100 units of free electricity. This will cost the state around Rs 1,607 crore. Read More

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