With Jayalalithaa continuing to remain in hospital since September 22, Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao late on Tuesday allocated the portfolios held by her to Finance Minister O Paneerselvam but said the AIADMK supremo will continue to be the Chief Minister.
“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.
Jayalalithaa (68), was admitted to Apollo hospital on September 22 after she complained of fever and dehydration.
On Tuesday, the hospital released a statement saying she continued to be under treatment and was being constantly monitored by intensivists and other consultants in the expert panel, while respiratory support, antibiotics, nutrition, supportive therapy and passive physiotherapy were being given to her.
Meanwhile, the main opposition DMK welcomed Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao allocating portfolios held by hospitalised Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to Finance Minister O Panneerselvam, saying the move would augur well for the state’s administration.
“As the Opposition Leader, I welcome this action taken by the Governor in the interest of the administrative welfare of the state,” DMK Treasurer M K Stalin said.
He pointed out that the decision had been taken as per the advice of the Chief Minister herself and said Tamil Nadu was surrounded by inter-state water rows like Cauvery and Mullaperiyar.
“Such a cabinet needs a head. Only then can decision on issues pertaining to the state’s welfare can be taken,” Stalin added.