With Tamil Nadu CM, J. Jayalalitha still hospitalized, Governor Vidyasagar Rao on the advice of the CM has allocated portfolios held by her to her trusted lieutenant and Finance Minister, O Panneerselvam. However, the AIADM head will continue to serve as the Chief Minister.
The move comes after the news that the Chief Minister will have to spend some more days in the hospital. The arrangement has been made by the Governor under the provisions of Clause (3) of the Article 166 of the Constitution of India. The clause authorizes the Governor to take measures in the absence of the chief executive of any state.
Panneerselvam holds the Finance portfolio and now will also look after the Administrative Reforms portfolio. He will also preside over cabinet meetings. The stop-gap arrangement has been made with the advice of the ailing Chief Minister. This is going to continue till she is fit to resume her duties.
Ms. Jayalalitha was admitted to Apollo Hospital on September 22, 2016after she complained of fever and dehydration. She is under intensive care and is on respiratory support. Her condition is continuously being monitored by a team of experts who have joined a group of Doctors from AIIMS. The ailing CM is being administered antibiotics, supportive therapy and passive physiotherapy.
This is the second time that her trusted aide has been asked to take on the duties of the CM. Earlier on September 27, 2014, he served as the temporary CM when Jayalalitha was convicted in the disproportionate assets case. However, she was later acquitted in the same matter by the Karnataka High Court on May 11, 2015.