All the portfolios being held by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa were reallocated to Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam on Tuesday, on her advice. A release from the Raj Bhavan said Ms. Jayalalithaa would continue to be the Chief Minister.
The release said the subjects had been allotted to him under clauses (3) of Article 166 of the Constitution of India. Ms. Jayalalithaa’s portfolios, thus transferred, include Public, Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Forest Service, General Administration, District Revenue Officers, Police and Home. “Mr. Panneerselvam will also preside over the Cabinet meetings. The arrangement has been made as per the advice of the Chief Minister and will continue until she resumes her duties. She will continue to be the Chief Minister,” the press release said.
Mr. Panneerselvam has, twice in the past stepped in as Chief Minister when Ms. Jayalalithaa had to step down. In September, 2001, she stepped down as her appointment as Chief Minister was quashed by the Supreme Court and Mr Panneerselvam, a first time MLA then, replaced her. Later, after her conviction by the special court in Bangalore in connection with the disproportionate wealth case, he once again was sworn in as Chief Minister.
Beale to be back
Meanwhile, it is learnt that Prof. Richard Beale, clinical director and professor of Intensive Care Medicine, at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, will be back in Chennai on Thursday (October 13) and will stay on for five days.
Tuesday passed without a bulletin from the hospital on the health status of Chief Minister. Meanwhile the hospital continued to ensure that visitors were not allowed inside to see Ms. Jayalalithaa to prevent infections. Two levels of barriers have been established to ensure that the patient is protected from infections. The only persons allowed to go in are the doctors and nurses attending to her.