After spending nearly eight months out of office, AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa came out of seclusion on Friday, much to the delight of frenzied supporters who thronged the city's streets to catch a glimpse of 'Amma' a day ahead of her swearing-in as Chief Minister.
Ms. Jayalalithaa will take the oath as Chief Minister — for the fifth time — at a ceremony to be held at the Centenary Hall of the University of Madras at 11 a.m on Saturday. Her return to office comes less than a fortnight after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her and three others of corruption charges in a disproportionate assets case.
After being elected AIADMK Legislature Party leader early in the morning, Ms. Jayalalithaa met Governor K. Rosaiah at the Raj Bhavan in the afternoon and submitted a list of Ministers to be inducted into the Cabinet. She will head a largely unchanged Cabinet.
Earlier, O. Panneerselvam resigned as Chief Minister.
Ms. Jayalalithaa, attired in a green sari and seated in her high-security vehicle, waved to hundreds of supporters, who had been waiting since morning to catch a glimpse of their leader.
Her convoy left her Poes Garden residence at 1.28 p.m. and proceeded to the Raj Bhavan.
Following the meeting with the Governor that lasted nearly 30 minutes, her convoy proceeded to Anna Salai, where she paid floral tributes to Dravidian icon Periyar and the former Chief Ministers M. G. Ramachandran and C.N. Annadurai at their statues, with thousands of supporters lining the arterial road.Folk performances
Groups of artistes could be spotted performing chenda melam and folk percussion, welcoming 'Amma' who made her first public appearance after 217 days.
“I saw her. She was rose [pink in colour] and smiled like a goddess,” said S. Nithya, an elated supporter from R.K. Nagar, who had come to Poes Garden.
“I have left my three-month-old infant behind at home to come and see 'Amma',” said her neighbour Rajeswari.
“Amma should contest in R.K. Nagar, North Chennai. She has tremendous support there,” said Ms. Nithya, referring to the constituency where an AIADMK MLA resigned early this week.