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OPS to the fore again

Covai Post Network


TN acting governor Vidya Sagar Raoi hands over Jayalalithaa’s portfolios to finance minister as temporary charge till she gets better

Ending suspense and speculation over deputy chief minister, as was being demanded by opposition parties, TN acting governor Vidya Sagar Rao on Tuesday handed over all portfolios handled by Jayalalithaa to him as temporary charge, till she recovers and assumes office.

Raj Bhavan issued a late evening press release announcing the governor’s decision that ended all speculation that was rife that there were couple of senior ministers in consideration for the post of deputy chief minister. However, nothing of the sort was even under consideration by the AIADMK, which had ruled out any need for either a DCM or interim chief minister as legally there was no requirement.

The Raj Bhavan statement was crystal clear in its import as well – Jayalalithaa will continue to be the chief minister, it declared in as many words, leaving no scope for anyone to misconstrue the order.

Opposition parties had also sought clarity on the state of administration of Tamil Nadu in the absence of a functioning chief minister, a fact that even governor was concerned over.

He had summoned the chief secretary and two senior ministers to get clarity on the subject. Chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao had briefed the governor on the administrative issues in the state and how it was being handled.

A Raj Bhavan comminique issued late evening said that under Clause(3) of Article 166 of the Constitution of India, . The Governor of Tamil Nadu today allocated the subjects hitherto dealt with by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to Paneerselvam.

It may be recalled that OPS had kept the seat warm for Jayalalithaa on two earlier occasions when she was legally ousted from the post. The last time she had to step down after a trial court convicted her in disproportionate assets case last year, when OPS was sworn in as CM.

But this time around, there is no change in his designation.

In addition to holding all portfolios held by the CM, OPS will also chair cabinet meetings.

According to the Raj Bhavan press release, the arrangement was made as per the advice of the chief minister.

“The arrangement will continue until Jayalalitha resumed her duties,” the Raj Bhavan said.

It made it very clear that Jayalalithaa continues to be the chief minister.

Ever since the chief minister was admitted to Apollo Hospital on September 22 following complaint of fever and dehydration, she has been undergoing treatment from specialists and experts, called from London and AIIMS in New Delhi. A panal of senior doctors from Apollo Hospital were constantly monitoring the chief minister round the clocks.

The governor’s decision on Tuesday comes a day before the planned visit of union finance minister Arun Jaitley and BJP national president Amit Shah to Chennai to visit Jayalalithaa at the hospital.

He will also preside over the cabinet meetings. This arrangement has been made as per the advise of the Chief Minister and will continue until Jayalalithaa resumes her duties.

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