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Death toll in Tamil Nadu due to cyclone Gaja rises to 33

The death toll due to cyclone Gaja, which hit Tamil Nadu's coastal districts on Friday, has increased to 33, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said on Saturday.
 
Coast Guard conducts aerial survey of Cyclone Gaja affected areas
The death toll due to cyclone Gaja, which hit Tamil Nadu's coastal districts on Friday, has increased to 33, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said on Saturday.
 
Speaking to reporters at Salem, about 350 kilometres from here, Palaniswami said that 20 men, 11 women, and 2 children died due to the cyclone that crossed the Tamil Nadu coast between Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam districts between 12.30 a.m. and 2.30 a.m. on Friday.
 
The cyclone left a trail of destruction in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Cuddalore, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts, damaging houses, huts and crops.
 
Palaniswami said about 70 livestock and several goats, poultry and deer have also died due to the cyclone.
 
Some 127,000 trees were uprooted by the strong cyclonic winds that touched a maximum speed of about 120 kmph, the Chief Minister added.
 
He said supplies of water, milk and food were being distributed to the people affected by the calamity.
 
About 177,500 people are staying in 351 relief camps in the cyclone-affected areas.
 
The Chief Minister said about 30,000 electricity poles were broken, and 105 power sub-stations affected. About 10,000 personnel have been sent to the cyclone-affected coastal districts to repair the installations.
 
Meanwhile, actor Rajinikanth appreciated the members of his Rajini Makkal Mandram for their work in providing relief to the cyclone-affected people.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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OPS gets boost as more AIADMK bigwigs back him in power tussle with Sasikala

Tamil Nadu caretaker Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam received a major boost in his open power tussle with ruling AIADMK General Secretary V. K. Sasikala when one of her key supporters and State Minister K. Pandiarajan and party spokesman and former Minister C. Ponnaiyan crossed over into his camp on Saturday.
 
TN Education Minister Pandiarajan backs OPS
Tamil Nadu caretaker Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam received a major boost in his open power tussle with ruling AIADMK General Secretary V. K. Sasikala when one of her key supporters and State Minister K. Pandiarajan and party spokesman and former Minister C. Ponnaiyan crossed over into his camp today.
 
As Ms. Sasikala moved quickly to keep her flock together amidst reports of growing desertions, three Lok Sabha members, V. Sathyabama of Tiruppur, Ashok Kumar of Krishnagiri and P R Sundaram of Namakkal also threw in their lot with Mr. Panneerselvam today.
 
Ms. Sasikala, on the other hand, voicing concern over the delay by Tamil Nadu Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao in responding to her claim to form the next Government in the state, wrote to him again today, seeking an opportunity to parade before him the MLAs supporting her.
 
Mr. Pandiarajan, the state Minister for School Education and Sports and Youth Welfare, arrived at Mr. Panneerselvam's residence, bringing cheer to the large crowd camping there and which has seen its support base growing slowly in the past few days.
 
The decision of Mr. Pandiarajan, one of the founders of well-known recruitment and consultancy firm Ma Foi, to switch loyalties is significant, given the fact that he was one of Ms. Sasikala's most ardent supporters during the past several days of political crisis in the state.
 
An indication of his impending shift was available from a "tweet" he posted on micro-blogging site Twitter this morning.
 
"Will surely listen to the collective voice of my voters & decide in a way to uphold the dignity of Amma's memory & unity of AIADMK!" he said.
 
Mr. Ponnaiyan said Mr. Panneerselvam was capable of leading the party with discipline and of running a corruption-free government.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam's Twitter handle said that state Rural Industries Minister P. Benjamin would shortly visit him to extend his support to him.
 
In her letter to the Governor, Ms. Sasikala noted that she had written to him on February 5 and February 7, seeking an appointment with him.
 
The Governor met her and nine Tamil Nadu Ministers in the evening of February 9 when she formally informed him of her election as the leader of the AIADMK legislature party last Sunday.
 
O. Panneerselvam
O. Panneerselvam
"... I submitted my elaborate presentation to invite me to form the Government as I have absolute majority. Original letter and true copy of the resolution were also handed over to Your Excellency," she said.
 
"Thus, as it has been seven long days since the Chief Minister Thiru. O. P. Panneerselvam submitted and Your Excellency accepted his resignation, taking the urgency of the situation at hand, I would like to seek an appointment with Your Excellency by today along with all MLAs who extended their support to me regarding further course of action to form the Government," she said.
 
"I believe Your Excellency will act immediately to save the sovereignty of the Constitution, democracy and the interest of the state," she added.
 
Ms. Sasikala addressed her supporters outside Veda Nilayam, the Poes Garden residence of the late Ms. Jayalalithaa, and said, "Amma has given me 1.5 crore party brothers and sisters.When they are with me,the sinister intentions of many will not  harm me."
 
"Amma is confident that I will look after AIADMK with all care," she said.
 
She said the relentless work done by Ms. Jayalalithaa had made AIADMK the third largest party. "Amma is with us now. Our Amma is now showing us the betrayers of our party," she said.
 
"People who think they can separate our party which has 1.5 crore people will only face defeat. Amma won over the hurdles, we are facing the same situation,we will also win over it. I believe in justice and democracy," she added.
Later, Ms. Sasikala drove in a motorcade to the resort where about 120 AIADMK MLAs have been staying for the past few days and met them for discussions on their future course of action.
 
"After meeting the party MLAs, I feel happy," she said. "All the party MLAs are fine and happy."
 
She said the "created time lag", in inviting her to form the government, appeared to be intended to create a split in the party.
 
Ms. Sasikala said she and her supporters were "waiting patiently" till now for a response to their claim, adding that "necessary measures will be taken".
 
Mr. K. A. Sengottayan, who has been appointed as the new chairman of the AIADMK Presidium, told journalists at the resort that all the MLAs there would remain with Ms. Sasikala till the end. "Our only aim is to make her the Chief Minister," he said.
 
However, there has been no indication whatsoever from Raj Bhavan in the past few days on when and how the political stalemate would be ended.
 
Even as the two rival groups continued to swipe and snipe at each other, Raj Bhavan clarified yesterday that the Governor had not sent any report to the President or the Ministry of Home Affairs on the political situation in the state.
 
The clarification came after media reports which said that Mr. Rao, who is the Governor of Maharashtra and is holding additional charge as the Governor of Tamil Nadu, had sent a report to the Centre after his meetings with Mr. Panneerselvam and Ms. Sasikala.
 
"Thiru Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Tamil Nadu has not sent any report either to the Ministry of Home Affairs or to the President of India, as reported in some of the media," a statement from Raj Bhavan said.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam, 65, had submitted his resignation last Sunday after Ms. Sasikala, 60, a long-time aide of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, was chosen by AIADMK MLAs as the new leader of their legislative party and, therefore, his successor. The Governor accepted his resignation on Monday and asked him to continue in office till alternative arrangments were made. 
 
Mr. Panneerselvam had been sworn in as the Chief Minister in the early hours of December 6, 2016 shortly after the death of Ms. Jayalalithaa, who was both the head of the government and the party supremo.
 
The usually reticent and self-effacing Mr. Panneerselvam made a surprise visit to the memorial of Ms. Jayalalithaa late in the night last Tuesday and then told waiting newspersons that he had been forced to resign and that he was willing to continue as Chief Minister if the people and the party so wished.
 
Ms. Sasikala was widely expected to be sworn in on Tuesday, but the Governor has not yet taken a final view on the situation confronting the state. Mr. Rao, who reached here from Mumbai on Thursday afternoon, met ten-member delegations led by the rivals, Mr. Panneerselvam and Ms. Sasikala, later that day.
 
While Mr. Panneerselvam told the Governor that he was forced to quit as Chief Minister and that he should be allowed to continue and take a floor test in the Assembly, Ms. Sasikala submitted to Mr. Rao a list of about 130 of the AIADMK's 135 MLAs and staked claim to forming the next Government.
 
The Governor is understood to be consulting legal and Constitutional experts and weighing his options.
 
Yesterday, Mr. Rao met State Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan and Director General of Police T. K. Rajendran as well as Chennai Police Commissioner S. George amidst complaints by the Panneerselvam camp that the Sasikala group was holding about 120 MLAs at a nearby resort, many of them against their will.
 
V. K. Sasikala
V. K. Sasikala
DMK working president and leader of the Opposition M. K. Stalin met Mr Rao yesterday and submitted a representation in which he said the state administration could not be allowed to drift any further. He urged the Governor to take steps to ensure that a democratically and Constitutionally valid government was in place at the earliest through a free and fair floor test.
 
Meanwhile, Ms. Sasikala yesterday expelled AIADMK presidium chairman E. Madhusudanan from the primary membership of the party, a day after he threw in his lot with Mr. Panneerselvam. Mr. K. A. Sengottayan has been appointed as the new chairman of the presidium.
 
Mr. Madhusudanan, on his part, wrote to the Election Commission stating that Ms. Sasikala's election as General Secretary of the party was in violation of its rules and urging it to reject her claims in this regard.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam had said on Thursday that he would issue orders to convert Veda Nilayam, the Poes Garden residence of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, into a memorial for her. The announcement assumes significance in view of the fact that Ms. Sasikala is functioning from that house.
 
To take this a step further, his camp has launched a signature campaign outside his residence on the proposal.
 
Two days after Ms. Sasikala removed him from the post of AIADMK treasurer, Mr. Panneerselvam on Thursday also wrote to banks asking them to not allow any one to access the party funds without his written permission. He said his removal from the post of treasurer was illegal.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam has been always regarded as a trusted lieutenant of Ms. Jayalalithaa and had stood in for her as Chief Minister twice when she faced crises.
 
Among those who have openly come out to support Mr. Panneerselvam is AIADMK Rajya Sabha member V. Maitreyan and former Tamil Nadu Assembly speaker P. H. Pandian.
 
There has been opposition to Ms. Sasikala's elevation from a section of the public, in social media and from the Opposition in the state. They point to the fact that she has never contested any election and has no administrative experience. They also point to the fact that an appeal against her acquittal in a two-decade-old corruption case is pending before the Supreme Court and its verdict could be delivered as early as next week.
 
Ms. Sasikala and two others were co-accused with Ms. Jayalalithaa in the case, in which they were all acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in May 2015. The two others are her nephew Sudhakaran, who is Ms. Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son, and her close relative Ilavarasi.
 
The Karnataka High Court had allowed Ms. Jayalalithaa's appeal against the verdict of a special court in Bangalore which had, on September 23, 2014, sentenced her to four years in prison and asked her to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore. The special court had sentenced Ms. Sasikala, Sudharakan and Ilavarasi  also to four years in prison and fined them Rs 10 crore each.
 
Ms. Jayalalithaa was admitted to the Apollo Hospital here on September 22 and died on December 5 after a sudden cardiac arrest. Doctors who treated her had told a press conference here on Monday that the AIADMK leader had been treated for septicemia and a host of other medical problems.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam was Finance Minister in Ms. Jayalalithaa's Cabinet and was also handling all the portfolios held by her after she was hospitalised on September 22.
 
He had stood in as Chief Minister for Ms. Jayalalithaa twice in the past. On September 29, 2014, he took over the position when Ms. Jayalalithaa resigned after being sentenced to four years in prison by a special court in Bangalore in a corruption case. Ms. Jayalalithaa returned to office on May 23, 2015, twelve days after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her in the 19-year-old corruption case.
 
He had earlier served as Chief Minister for a brief period from September 21, 2001 to March 1, 2002 after the Supreme Court had declared null and void the action of then Governor Fatima Beevi appointing Ms Jayalalithaa to the position as she had been sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment in another corruption case. Ms Jayalalithaa was cleared of all charges in 2002 and returned as Chief Minister.
 
Ms. Sasikala's control over the party was in evidence in the manner in which she carried out Ms. Jayalalithaa's last rites and then took hold of the reins of the AIADMK a few days later. Since then, there has been a clamour from a group within the AIADMK that, after being chosen as the new General Secretary, she should also take charge of the Government. Ms. Jayalalithaa held both the posts and they argued that it was better if the same person held both positions.
 
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Panneerselvam's resignation accepted, Sasikala likely to be sworn in on Tuesday

Tamil Nadu Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao on Monday accepted the resignation of Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and his Council of Ministers and his successor, Ms. V. K. Sasikala, a long-time aide of late AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa, is expected to be sworn in on Tuesday.
V. K. Sasikala
V. K. Sasikala
Tamil Nadu Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao today accepted the resignation of Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and his Council of Ministers and his successor, Ms. V. K. Sasikala, a long-time aide of late AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa, is expected to be sworn in tomorrow.
 
The Governor requested Mr. Panneerselvam and his Council of Ministers to continue to function until alternate arrangements are made, a press release from the Raj Bhavan said.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam, 65, had resigned from office yesterday after the ruling All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) legislature party met here and chose Ms. Sasikala as its new leader.
 
Ms. Sasikala, 60, is expected to be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of the State tomorrow morning at a function at the Madras University auditorium. 
 
Mr. Panneerselvam had been sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state in the early hours of December 6, succeeding Ms. Jayalalithaa who passed away at a private hospital here late night on December 5.
 
"Chinnamma elected as the AIADMK Legislature Party Leader," the AIADMK had said on micro-blogging site Twitter yesterday. Ms. Sasikala is referred to as "Chinamma" by party workers, just as Ms. Jayalalithaa was called "Amma".
 
It said Mr. Panneerselvam himself, known to be a long-time Jayalalithaa loyalist, had proposed Ms. Sasikala's name as the new leader of the AIADMK legislature party leader.
 
"Chinnamma all set to become the next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu," the party said.
 
Ms. Sasikala had then made a brief appearance in the balcony of Ms. Jalayalalithaa's residence in Poes Garden here, dressed in a green saree and blouse, the AIADMK's colour, and greeted the crowds gathered outside with a "namaste" and then the "V" sign.
 
She later drove to the AIADMK headquarters where she said that it was Mr. Panneerselvam who had urged her first to take charge as General Secretary of the party and it was he who insisted, first, that she become the Chief Minister of the state. Ms. Sasikala has never held any position in Government before nor has she ever contested any elections.
 
She assured the people that her government would always work for the welfare of the people. "Tamil Nadu Government will follow the principles of Amma," she said.
  
Mr. Panneerselvam, 65, was Finance Minister in Ms. Jayalalithaa's Cabinet and was also handling all the portfolios held by her after she was admitted to the Apollo Hospital here on September 22.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam had stood in as Chief Minister for Ms. Jayalalithaa twice in the past. On September 29, 2014, he took over the position when Ms. Jayalalithaa resigned after being sentenced to four years in prison by a special court in Bangalore in a corruption case. Ms. Jayalalithaa returned to office on May 23, 2015, twelve days after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her in the 19-year-old corruption case.
 
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He had earlier served as Chief Minister for a brief period from September 21, 2001 to March 1, 2002 after the Supreme Court had declared null and void the action of then Governor Fatima Beevi appointing Ms Jayalalithaa to the position as she had been sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment in another corruption case. Ms Jayalalithaa was cleared of all charges in 2002 and returned as Chief Minister.
 
Ms. Sasikala's control over the party was in evidence in the manner in which she carried out Ms. Jayalalithaa's last rites and then took hold of the reins of the AIADMK a few days later. Since then, there has been a clamour from a group within the AIADMK that, after being chosen as the new General Secretary, she should also take charge of the Government. Ms. Jayalalithaa held both the posts and they argued that it was better if the same person held both positions.
 
Ms. Sasikala, along with her nephew Sudhakaran, who is Ms. Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son, and her close relative Ilavarasi , were  co-accused with Ms. Jayalalithaa in an 18-year-old corruption case, in which they were all acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in May 2015. An appeal against the acquittal is pending before the Supreme Court and its verdict in the matter is awaited.
 
The Karnataka High Court had allowed Ms. Jayalalithaa's appeal against the verdict of a special court in Bangalore which had, on September 23, 2014, sentenced her to four years in prison and asked her to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore. The special court had sentenced Ms. Sasikala, Sudharakan and Ilavarasi  also to four years in prison and fined them Rs 10 crore each.
 
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Sasikala Natarajan set to be new CM of Tamil Nadu

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Secretary Sasikala Natarajan, a long-time friend and companion of late party supremo J. Jayalithaa, is all set to become the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after the party's MLAs met in Chennai and chose her as the leader of its legislature party.
 
Sasikala Natarajan appointed legislative party leader of AIADMK
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Secretary Sasikala Natarajan, a long-time friend and companion of late party supremo J. Jayalithaa, is all set to become the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after the party's MLAs met here today and chose her as the leader of its legislative party.
 
She will succeed Mr. O. Panneerselvam, senior leader of the ruling AIADMK, who was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state in the early hours of December 6, succeeding Ms. Jayalalithaa who passed away at a private hospital here late night on December 5.
 
"Chinnamma elected as the AIADMK Legislature Party Leader," the AIADMK said on micro-blogging site Twitter. 
 
Ms. Sasikala, 60, is referred to as "Chinamma" by party workers, just as Ms. Jayalalithaa was called as "Amma". It said Mr. Panneerselvam had proposed Ms. Sasikala's name as the new leader of the AIADMK legislature party leader.
 
"Chinnamma all set to become the next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu," the party said.
 
Ms. Sasikala made a brief appearance in the balcony of Ms. Jalayalalithaa's residence in Poes Garden here, dressed in a green saree and blouse, the AIADMK's colour, and greeted the crowds gathered outside with a "namaste" and then the "V" sign.
 
Ms. Sasikala later drove to the AIADMK headquarters where she said that it was Mr. Panneerselvam who had urged her first to take charge as General Secretary of the party and it was he who insisted, first, that she become the Chief Minister of the state. Ms. Sasikala has never held any position in Government before nor has ever contested any elections.
 
She assured the people that her government would always work for the welfare of the people. "Tamil Nadu Government will follow the principles of Amma," she said.
 
She is expected to meet Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao in the next day or two and stake claim to form the next government in the state.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam, 65, was Finance Minister in Ms. Jayalalithaa's Cabinet and was also handling all the portfolios held by her after she was admitted to the Apollo Hospital here on September 22.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam had stood in as Chief Minister for Ms. Jayalalithaa twice in the past. On September 29, 2014, he took over the position when Ms. Jayalalithaa resigned after being sentenced to four years in prison by a special court in Bangalore in a corruption case. Ms. Jayalalithaa returned to office on May 23, 2015, twelve days after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her in the 19-year-old corruption case.
 
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He had earlier served as Chief Minister for a brief period from September 21, 2001 to March 1, 2002 after the Supreme Court had declared null and void the action of then Governor Fatima Beevi appointing Ms Jayalalithaa to the position as she had been sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment in another corruption case. Ms Jayalalithaa was cleared of all charges in 2002 and returned as Chief Minister.
 
Ms. Sasikala's control over the party was in evidence in the manner in which she carried out Ms. Jayalalithaa's last rites and then took hold of the reins of the AIADMK a few days later. Since then, there has been a clamour from a group within the AIADMK that, after being chosen as the new General Secretary, she should also take charge of the Government. Ms. Jayalalithaa held both the posts and they argued that it was better if the same person held both positions.
 
Ms. Sasikala, along with her nephew Sudhakaran, who is Ms. Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son, and her close relative Ilavarasi , were  co-accused with Ms. Jayalalithaa in an 18-year-old corruption case, in which they were all acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in May 2015. An appeal against the acquittal is pending before the Supreme Court and its verdict in the matter is awaited.
 
The Karnataka High Court had allowed Ms. Jayalalithaa's appeal against the verdict of a special court in Bangalore which had, on September 23, 2014, sentenced her to four years in prison and asked her to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore. The special court had sentenced Ms. Sasikala, Sudharakan and Ilavarasi  also to four years in prison and fined them Rs 10 crore each.
 
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Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa suffers cardiac arrest in hospital

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who has been undergoing treatment at the Apollo Hospital in Chennai for the last three months for a lung infection, suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening, the hospital said.
 
Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa suffers cardiac arrest
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who has been undergoing treatment at the Apollo Hospital here for the last three months for a lung infection, suffered a cardiac arrest this evening, the hospital said.
 
"The Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nau who is undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospitals, Greams Road, Chennai, suffered a cardiac arrest this evening," the hospital said in a statement late tonight.
 
"She is being treated and monitored by a team of experts, including Cardiologists, Pulmonologists and the Critical Care Specialists," the statement added.
 
The hospital said Ms. Jayalalithaa was on extracorporeal membrane heart assist device and was being treated by a team of expert doctors and critical care specialists.
 
The hospital said Dr Richard Beale from London had also been consulted and he had concurred with the line of treatment by its cardiologists and pulmonologists.
 
"Our prayers are with her and we hope she will recover soon. We request all of you to pray for her good health and well being. The Hon'ble CM is the beloved leader of the masses. Please join us in praying for her speedy recovery," the hospital said in a series of posts on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Tamil Nadu Governor Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao, to inquire about Ms. Jayalalithaa's heath.
 
Mr. Rao, who is the Governor of Maharashtra, is holding additional charge of Tamil Nadu, since August 31 following the end of the tenure of Mr. K. Rosaiah. He told Mr. Rajnath Singh that he would leave for Chennai tonight.
 
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Hundreds of workers of Ms. Jayalalithaa's party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), her supporters and leaders of the party began converging outside the hospital after hearing of the news of her cardiac arrest. Police stepped up security arrangements outside the hospital as a precautionary measure.
 
Earlier in the day, the AIADMK had said that Ms. Jayalalithaa would soon decide when she would leave hospital and return home after doctors had declared that she had fully recovered.
 
The hospital has said several times in the past few weeks that the Chief Minister, called "Amma" by her supporters, was well enough to return home whenever she wanted. Her party said she was involved in taking government decisions and also speaking on occasion to those who were allowed to meet her.
 
Ms. Jayalalithaa was admitted to the hospital on September 27 for treatment of dehydration and fever. Later, there were reports that she was also being treated for a chronic lung infection and that he had been put on respiratory support. Specialist doctors from London and Delhi had been flown in to monitor her condition.
 
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Jayalalithaa returns as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in Chennai on Saturday, 12 days after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her in an 19-year-old corruption case and paved the way for her return to the top job in the state for the fifth time after a gap of eight months.
 
Jayalalithaa sworn in as Tamil Nadu CM
 
 
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo J Jayalalithaa was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu here today, 12 days after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her in an 19-year-old corruption case and paved the way for her return to the top job in the state for the fifth time after a gap of eight months.
 
Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah administered the oaths of offie and secrecy to Ms Jayalalithaa at a ceremony at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium.
 
Along with Ms Jayalalithaa, 67, as many as 28 other Ministers were also sworn in, including Mr O. Panneerselvam, who had functioned as Chief Minister since September 29 after she had been forced to resign following her conviction by a special court in Bangalore in the case.
 
Mr Panneerselvam will be Finance Minister, a portfolio he had held in her previous Cabinet.
 
The Governor had accepted the resignation of Mr. Panneerselvam and his Council of Ministers with effect from the forenoon of yesterday and requested him and his Council of Ministers to function until alternative arrangements were made.
 
Later yesterday, Ms Jayalalithaa, who was elected as the leader of the AIADMK Legislature Party, had called on Mr Rosaiah and staked her claim to form the new government.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa will have to get elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly within six months in keeping with Constitutional requirements.
 
Mr Panneerselvam had earlier served as Chief Minister for a brief period from September 21, 2001 to March 1, 2002 after the Supreme Court had declared null and void the action of then Governor Fatima Beevi appointing Ms Jayalalithaa to the position as she had been sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment in another corruption case. Like this tim, she was then, too, cleared of all charges in 2002 and had returned as Chief Minister.
 
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On May 11, the Karnataka High Court allowed Ms Jayalalithaa's appeal against the verdict of the special court in Bangalore which had, on September 23, 2014, sentenced her to four years in prison and asked her to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore.
 
Mr Justice C R Kumaraswamy said the appeals by Ms Jayalalithaa and the three co-accused had been allowed and that they were acquitted of all charges.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa had also been barred by the special court from contesting elections and that verdict had meant that she had been disqualified as a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and ceased to be the Chief Minister of the state. The acquittal by the High Court meant that Ms Jayalalithaa could return as Chief Minister.
 
The three co-accused who were acquitted along with her are her close aide Sasikala Natarajan, Sasikala's nephew and Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son Sudhakaran and Sasikala's close relative Ilavarasi, who were also convicted in the case and sentenced to four years in prison and fined Rs 10 crore each by the special court.
 
Sasikala was among the more than 3000 people present at the ceremony. Others present included film stars Rajnikanth, Sarath Kumar and Prabhu and industrialists N Srinivasan and A C Muthaiah.
 
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Jayalalithaa acquitted in corruption case, paving way for her return as TN CM

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was on Monday acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in Bangalore in an 18-year-old corruption case, clearing the way for her return to the top job in her state.
File photo of J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of J. Jayalalithaa.
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was today acquitted by the Karnataka High Court here in an 18-year-old corruption case, clearing the way for her return to the top job in her state.
 
The High Court allowed Ms Jayalalithaa's appeal against the verdict of a special court in Bangalore which had, on September 23, 2014, sentenced her to four years in prison and asked her to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore.
 
Reading out the operative part of the judgement at 11 am in the court, Mr Justice C R Kumaraswamy said the appeals by Ms Jayalalithaa and the three co-accused had been allowed and that they were acquitted of all charges.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa, 67, had also been barred by the special court from contesting elections and that verdict had meant that she had been disqualified as a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and ceased to be the Chief Minister of the state.
 
Today's acquittal means that Ms Jayalithaa, supremo of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), can return as Chief Minister.
 
After she had stepped down, senior AIADMK leader O. Panneerselvam was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on September 29 last year.
 
Mr Panneerselvam, 63, had earlier served as Chief Minister for a brief period from September 21, 2001 to March 1, 2002 after the Supreme Court had declared null and void the action of then Governor Fatima Beevi appointing Ms Jayalalithaa to the position as she had been sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment in another corruption case. She was later cleared of all charges in 2002 and had returned as Chief Minister.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa, a film star-turned-politician, and the three co-accused persons were accused by the prosecution of amassing assets valued at Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate to their known sources of income from 1991-96 during her first term in office.
 
The special court had sentenced the co-accused -- her close aide Sasikala Natarajan, Sasikala's nephew Sudharakan, who is Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son, and Sasikala's close relative Ilavarasi -- also to four years in prison and fined them Rs 10 crore each.
 
 
Jayalalithaa acquitted by Karnataka HC in corruption case
Celebrations broke out among Ms Jayalalithaa's supporters all across Tamil Nadu as well as outside the high court here, where they had gathered in large numbers.
 
Hundreds of people who had congregated outside her Poes Garden residence in Chennai since early morning burst firecrackers, danced and distributed sweets as soon as news of the verdict by Mr Justice C R Kumaraswamy ame in.
 
Mr Panneerselvam and many of his Cabinet colleagues also turned up to congratulate her.
 
On October 17 last year, Ms Jayalalithaa had been granted bail by the Supreme Court in the case after the Karnataka High Court had turned down her application.
 
Along with her, the apex court also granted bail to Ms Natarajan, Mr Sudhakaran and Mr Ilavarasi.
 
The case was filed in 1997 by the Tamil Nadu government's Department of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) during the tenure of Ms Jayalalithaa's rival and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader M Karunanidhi as Chief Minister.
 
The Supreme Court ordered the case to be transferred to a special court in Bangalore in 2003 on a petition filed by DMK leader K Anbazhagan, who had expressed doubts about a fair trial in Tamil Nadu after Jayalalithaa returned as Chief Minister.
 
The prosecution had alleged that Jayalalithaa had just Rs 3 crore when she took over as Chief Minister for the first time in 1991 and had taken a token salary of just Re 1, but her wealth and that of her three co-accused had grown to Rs 66.6 crore during her five years in office, vastly disproportionate to her known sources of income.
 
The alleged wealth included 2000 acres of land, 30 kg of gold and thousands of sarees. She was also accused of spending more than Rs 5 crore on her foster son's wedding in 1996, though she had claimed that the expenditure was borne by the bride's family.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa had all along maintained that the case was an act of political vendetta by the DMK. Among other things, she had agued that her previous assets were undervalued, her property was overvalued and her income from various sources were not taken into account.
 
In 2011, Jayalalithaa had appeared in the Bangalore court for four days to answer more than 1390 questions posed by the judge.
 
In the Lok Sabha elections last year, the AIADMK had made a near clean sweep in Tamil Nadu, winning 37 of the 39 seats from the state.
 
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SC grants bail to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa

The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who was convicted by a special court in Bangalore on September 27 in an 18-year-old corruption case and sentenced to four years in prison and asked to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore.
File photo of J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of J. Jayalalithaa.
The Supreme Court today granted bail to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who were convicted by a special court in Bangalore on September 27 in an 18-year-old corruption case and sentenced to four years in prison and asked to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore.
 
Along with Ms Jayalalithaa, 66, the apex court also granted bail to her close aide Sasikala Natarajan, Sasikala's nephew and Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son Sudhakaran and Sasikala's close relative Ilavarasi, who were also convicted in the case and sentenced to four years in prison and fined Rs 10 crore each.
 
The Karnataka High Court had, on October 7, rejected Ms Jayalalithaa's bail application. While doing so, Judge A V Chandrashekhara recalled that the Supreme Court had made it clear in the past that corruption cases should be put on the fast track. He pointed out that the apex court had taken a tough stand in such cases and had described corruption as a "violation of human rights".
 
Ms Jayalalithaa and the three co-accused persons were accused by the prosecution of amassing assets valued at Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate to their known sources of income from 1991-96 during her first term in office.
 
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo had moved the Supreme Court for bail on October 9.
 

 
Jayalalithaa granted interim bail by SC in DA case
The apex court today suspended her sentence and granted her bail after imposing some conditions, including that she would have to submit her paprs for the appeal against her conviction within two months, that is by December 18, and that she would not seek any adjournment of the hearings. 
 
As soon as news of the court's decision to grant her bail came, hundreds of supporters of Ms Jayalalithaa in Chennai and elsewhere broke out into rapturous celebrations.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa, who has been held in prison in Bangalore since September 27, is expected to be released on bail later today or tomorrow. She will remain confined to home in Chennai while she is on bail.
 
The court fixed December 18 as the date to satisfy itself if she had complied with its order.
 
Her counsel Fali Nariman assured the court on her behalf that there would be no act of lawlessness by her party's workers in Tamil Nadu. She had sought bail on the grounds that she was suffering from various ailments and that she was a senior citizen and a woman.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa stood disqualified as a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly after her conviction and sentence and had to resign as Chief Minister. She is also barred from contesting elections for six years after she completes her four-year sentence.
 
The case was filed in 1997 by the Tamil Nadu government's Department of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) during the tenure of Jayalalithaa's rival and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader M Karunanidhi as Chief Minister.
 
The Supreme Court ordered the case to be transferred to a special court in Bangalore in 2003 on a petition filed by DMK leader K Anbazhagan, who had expressed doubts about a fair trial in Tamil Nadu after Jayalalithaa returned as Chief Minister.
 
The prosecution had alleged that Ms Jayalalithaa had just Rs 3 crore when she took over as Chief Minister for the first time in 1991 and had taken a token salary of just Re 1, but her wealth and that of her three co-accused had grown to Rs 66.6 crore during her five years in office, vastly disproportionate to her known sources of income.
 
The alleged wealth included 2000 acres of land, 30 kg of gold and thousands of sarees. She was also accused of spending more than Rs 5 crore on her foster son's wedding in 1996, though she had claimed that the expenditure was borne by the bride's family.
 
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The court held that the prosecution had been able to prove that she possessed disproportionate assets of about Rs 53 crore. 
 
Ms Jayalalithaa had all along maintained that the case was an act of political vendetta by the DMK. Among other things, she had agued that her previous assets were undervalued, her property was overvalued and her income from various sources were not taken into account.
 
In the Lok Sabha elections held earlier this year, the AIADMK had made a near clean sweep in Tamil Nadu, winning 37 of the 39 seats from the state and emerging as the third largest party in the House.
 
Elections to the Tamil Nadu Assembly are due in 2016 and unless her conviction is overturned by a higher court, Ms Jayalalithaa cannot contest them.
 
After Ms Jayalalithaa stepped down, senior AIADMK leader O. Panneerselvam was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on September 29.
 
Mr Panneerselvam, 63, had earlier served as Chief Minister for a brief period from September 21, 2001 to March 1, 2002 after the Supreme Court had declared null and void the action of then Governor Fatima Beevi appointing Ms Jayalalithaa to the position as she had been sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment in another corruption case.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa was later cleared of all charges in 2002 and had returned as Chief Minister.
 
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Parched Chennai will get drinking water, assures CM

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With reservoirs supplying water to Chennai drying up and groundwater levels plummeting in the absence of rain, water has become scarce but the government is taking necessary steps to supply drinking water to people, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said on Tuesday.
 
Interacting with reporters here, Palaniswami said that owing to failure of rains, the ground water levels have gone down.
 
People are using the water supplied through tankers for drinking and washing as the ground water levels have gone down and hence the shortage, he said.
 
The resorvoirs -- Cholavaram (full capacity 1,081 mcft) and Redhills (3,300 mcft) -- which cater to the Chennai's water needs are dry while the storage at Poondi reservoir is 24 mcft as against full capacity of 3,231 mcft, according to Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Chennai Metro).
 
The Chembarambakkam lake (full capacity 3,645 mcft) has water level of a mere 1 mcft.
 
Palaniswami said water from desalination projects is also being distributed to people and urged people to cooperate with the government as ground water will be supplied for next four or five months till rains begin in October-November.
 
As regards water from the Telugu Ganga Scheme or Krishna Water, Palaniswami said water could only be released to Tamil Nadu if there is 8 tmc of water in Kadaleru dam in Andha Pradesh.
 
The water level at Kadaleru dam is presently about 4 tmc.
 
Palaniswami also said that water from the Mettur Dam is being released to fill up the Veeranam lake to supply drinking water to Chennai.
 
IANS
 

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College students fall from bus roof in Chennai

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A group of college students sitting on the roof of a city bus here in Tamil Nadu fell on to the road when the driver applied the brakes suddenly to avoid hitting a two-wheeler.
 
The video of the incident on Monday went viral on social media.
 
The students of Pachaiappa's College here climbed atop the bus plying on route number 47A to celebrate 'Bus Day'.
 
Police took some students into custody.
 
'Bus Day' is celebrated as a thanksgiving to the driver and the conductor who are regulars on a particular college route.
 
Over time, the celebrations have turned into a nuisance for the public with students forcing the driver to drive the vehicle very slowly, thereby blocking the traffic on busy roads.
 
The Madras High Court had come down heavily on the Bus Day celebrations several times. The police, too, had issued warnings against the celebrations. 
 
IANS
 

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Popular Tamil writer, actor Crazy Mohan passes away

Tamil actor Crazy Mohan (File photo: IANS)
Tamil actor Crazy Mohan (File photo: IANS)
Renowned Tamil writer, actor and comedy giant Crazy Mohan breathed his last here on Monday after he suffered a major heart attack. He was 67.
 
"After he complained of pain in his chest and suffered a heart attack, he was rushed to Kauvery hospital in the afternoon. Efforts were taken to revive him but unfortunately he passed away around 2 p.m.," a family source told IANS.
 
Born as Mohan Rangachari in 1952, Mohan's first stint with writing began in college, where he was studying Mechanical Engineering, when he wrote the script for "Great Bank Robbery" for an inter-collegiate contest.
 
He then started writing scripts for his brother Maadhu Balaji's drama troupe. In 1976, Mohan wrote his first full-length play called "Crazy Thieves in Paalavakkam", thereby, earning the moniker 'Crazy' to his name.
 
By 1979, Mohan started his own drama troupe Crazy Creations which went on to create over 30 plays that have been staged over 6,500 times till date. Some of their popular plays include "Chocolate Krishna", "Satellite Saamiyar", "Marriage Made in Saloon" and "Return of Crazy Thieves", among others.
 
In 1983, Mohan made his film debut as a writer for K. Balachander's "Poikkal Kuthirai", which was based on Mohan's own play "Marriage Made in Saloon". The film featured Kamal Haasan in a cameo.
 
As a writer, Mohan was widely popular for his association with Kamal Haasan in multiple Tamil comedies which include "Sathi Leelavathi", "Michael Madana Kama Rajan", "Apoorva Sagodharargal", "Avvai Shanmugi", "Panchatanthiram" and "Vasool Raja MBBS".
 
Mohan forayed into television in 1989 and produced popular comedy serials, which include "Crazy", "Kalyanathukku Kalyanama" and "Vidathu Sirippu".
 
Mohan was a recipient of the Kalaimamani award given by the Tamil Nadu government for excellence in the field of art and literature.
 
IANS
 

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Stalin urges Rahul not to quit as Congress President

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DMK President M. K. Stalin on Tuesday urged Congress President Rahul Gandhi not to resign from his party post.
 
In a statement issued here, the DMK said Stalin spoke to Gandhi on the phone and told him that he had won the people's hearts.
 
On his part, Gandhi greeted Stalin on the DMK-led alliance's sweeping electoral victory in Tamil Nadu.
 
Congress leader Sonia Gandhi too greeted Stalin.
 
Stalin will be attending the swearing in ceremony of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister designate Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday at Vijayawada.
 
IANS
 

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Top seed Gayatri crashes out in junior badminton semis

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Top seed P. Gayatri Gopichand of Telangana crashed out of the All India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament, losing squarely to 16th seed Aashi Rawat of Delhi in a dramatic girl's semifinal upset on Saturday.
 
Tamil Nadu too suffered a big setback, with No. 4 seed Satish Kumar crumbling against No. 2 seed Maisnam Meiraba from Manipur in the boys' section.
 
The till now flawless Gayatri, the daughter of India coach Pullela Gopichand, turned error-prone in the semi-final as she found a worthy challenger in Aashi. She edged into the lead but saw Aashi recover ground at 6-6. The momentum shifted at that stage with Aashi jumping ahead at 10-9 before taking a 13-11 lead.
 
The mistakes, however, continued to flow which Aashi exploited to the hilt, taking a strong 18-14 lead that proved to be good enough for a 21-15 victory in the opener.
 
Aashi was on a roll in the second game, racing to a 15-7 lead. She didn't concede a single point after that for a well-deserved place in the final.
 
Aashi now awaits the winner of the second semi-final between Tamil Nadu's Akshaya Arumugam and Samiya Imad Farooqui of Telangana, both unseeded.
 
Local lad Satish Kumar too found himself out of depth against No. 2 seed Maisnam Meiraba, losing 13-21, 11-21 in 50 minutes. He fell behind early in both the games and failed to come up with any strategy to regain a toehold in the contest.
 
He yielded an early 2-6 lead in the first game which became 4-8 and 9-16 pretty quickly. The second game too followed the same pattern. He went down 2-5 and couldn't recover any ground to lose 11-21.
 
Sathish, however, gave a glimpse of his talent and temperament in the morning, getting the better of ninth seed Sarath D of Andhra Pradesh. He was trailing after the first game (10-21) but he recovered enough to make it look like an easy win, taking the next two games 21-16, 21-12.
 
IANS

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Gayatri, other top seeds reach junior badminton quarters

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Top seed P. Gayatri Gopichand of Telangana faced her first tough fight in the Microplex Global and Yonex Sunrise All-India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament before prevailing 2-0 and entering the quarter-finals here on Friday night.
 
The daughter of India coach Pullela Gopichand was stretched all the way by the unseeded Khushi Gupta of Delhi in the Under-19 Girls Singles clash for a place in the last 8. It took the 16-year-old's cool temperament and superior skills to eke out a 22-20 win in the first game. The second game was equally close with Khushi determined to battle for every point. But in the end Gayatri lived up to her ranking, closing it at 21-16.
 
No. 3 seed Malvika Bansod of the Airports Authority of India and Chennai's Akshaya Arumugam had comparatively easier rounds, getting the better of No. 12 seed Aditi Bhatt of Uttarakhand and Riya Kunjir of Maharashtra, respectively. Malvika won 21-19 21-11 while an impressive Akshaya romped home with a 21-12, 21-11 victory.
 
Earlier in the day, Gayatri barely stretched herself to beat Prerana Alvekar of Maharasthra, 21-11 21-13. Malvika, however, struggled against unseeded Tanya Hemanth (Karnataka), losing the second game 15-21. The final game too was tight but she survived the scare for a 21-10 15-21 21-18 win.
 
Unnati Bisht (No. 4, UTR) and Samiya Imad Farooqui (No. 5, TS) joined the duo by taming Likhita Srivastava of Delhi 21-16 21-8 and Treesa Jolly of Kerala 21-16 21-10.
 
Amolika Singh (No. 6, Uttar Pradesh) and Tasnim Mir (No. 13, Gujarat) were the only two seeds in girls' category to tumble out of the competition. They lost to Aadya Variyath of Kerala 22-20 16-21 21-16 and Himanshi Rawat of Uttarakhand 22-20 7-21 21-15, respectively.
 
No. 2 seed Maisnam Meiraba of Manipur drove the top seeds in the Under-19 Boys Singles, carrying as many as 11 more into the next round. He beat Bharat Raghav of Haryana (21-8 23-21) to set up a clash with Rohan Gurbani (Maharashtra) who took down Karan Negi (HP) 21-13 21-7.
 
Other seeds who progressed include Sai Charan Koya (No. 3, AP), Sathish Kumar K. (4, TN), Aakash Yadav (No. 5, Delhi), Tharun M. (6, Telangana), Siddhanth Gupta (No. 10, TN) and Pranav Rao Gandham (No. 16, Telangana).
 
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DMK alliance routs AIADMK alliance in TN

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Bucking the national trend that favoured the BJP, the DMK-led alliance on Thursday dealt a major blow to Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK-led alliance which comprised the BJP, as it seemed set to capture 36 of the state's 38 Lok Sabha seats that went for polls on April 18.
 
All the candidates put up by the ruling AIADMK's alliance partners bit the dust.
 
The DMK was, however, not able to replicate the sweep in the bye-elections for the 22 assembly seats as it led in 13 constituencies while AIADMK is in lead in nine seats at the time of writing this report.
 
While the DMK and the AIADMK contested the Lok Sabha polls in alliance with other parties, it was a head-on contest between the two in the assembly bye-elections.
 
In the Lok Sabha polls, prominent candidates of the DMK like A. Raja, Dayanidhi Maran, Kanimozhi, T. R. Baalu, S. S. Palanimanickam and of its allies like the Congress like Su. Thirunavukarasar, Karthi P Chidambaram, H. Vasanthakumar, S.Jothimani and others, Communist Party of India-Marxist, Communist Party of India (CPI) and others won their seats or were in the process of winning against their rivals belonging to the AIADMK-led alliance across the state, Election Commission officials said.
 
Amongst the prominent losers were PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss from Dharmapuri, BJP's H.Raja and Tamilisai Soundararajan from Sivaganga and Thoothukudi respectively.
 
In a statement issued here, AIADMK's Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam and Joint Coordinator K. Palaniswami said the results of the bye-elections for the 22 assembly constituencies show that the AIADMK has the credentials to rule the state.
 
On his part, DMK President M. K. Stalin thanked the voters for electing the party's candidates.
 
The Lok Sabha polls saw a four-cornered contest. The two major fronts are: the AIADMK-led front comprising the PMK, BJP, DMDK, TMC, PT, PNK and others and the DMK-led front consisting of the Congress, MDMK, IUML, CPI, CPI-M, VCK, KMDK and IJK.
 
The AMMK floated by independent legislator T.T.V. Dhinakaran and the MNM floated by actor-politician Kamal Haasan made their electoral debut but put up a poor show.
 
BJP leaders blamed "negative propaganda" by its political foes for its poor showing.
 
IANS
 

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DMK leading in TN Assembly bye-elections

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The DMK on Thursday led in in 10 Assembly constituencies and the ruling AIADMK in 8 as per the initial trends available for the bye-elections held for 22 seats in Tamil Nadu, according to the Election Commission.
 
More than the Lok Sabha elections, the focus in the state was on the bye-elections as they would determine whether the AIADMK government led by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami would remain in power.
 
The fight here is between the AIADMK and DMK. Both the parties contested all the 22 seats while they shared the Lok Sabha seats with their allies.
 
In the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, the ruling AIADMK has 114 members (including the Speaker), the DMK 88 and the Congress 8 while the IUML and Independents have one member each.
 
To attain a simple majority, the AIADMK has to win just four seats in the bye-elections. In order to be safe against switching of camps by some of the lawmakers, the AIADMK has to win eight or nine seats.
 
The DMK (with 88 legislators), on the other hand, has to win all the 22 seats to take its tally along with its allies -- Congress (eight) and IUML (one) -- to 119, which is just one number over the simple majority.
 
Meanwhile, three AIADMK legislators were issued show cause notices by Speaker P. Dhanapal as the ruling party felt that they were moving towards the T.T.V. Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).
 
However, the Supreme Court has stayed the disqualification proceedings against these three lawmakers.
 
IANS
 

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Singapore-bound Scoot flight makes emergency landing at Chennai

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A Singapore-bound Scoot Airlines flight, with 171 people on board, was forced to land in Chennai Airport on Monday after a smoke alarm in its cargo bay.
 
The flight, which had taken off from Tamil Nadu's Trichy, landed safely and the 165 passengers and six crew members were evacuated.
 
According to Scoot Airlines, the preliminary assessment showed that it was a false alarm. However, the 165 passengers left for Singapore in a replacement flight on Monday evening, it said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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DMK to be with Congress, unsure of third front

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekar Rao meets DMK President M. K. Stalin at his residence in Chennai on May 13, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekar Rao meets DMK President M. K. Stalin at his residence in Chennai on May 13, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
The DMK said on Tuesday that it will stick with the Congress even after the Lok Sabha elections and that this had been conveyed to Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao who favours a non-Congress, non-BJP coalition to govern India.
 
"We are committed to the Congress. Never in the history of the DMK has it changed its alliance post elections. The party has always stuck to its pre-poll alliance partner," a DMK leader told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
 
He said that the importance of the DMK's alliance with the Congress was explained to Rao at the meeting with party  president M. K. Stalin here on Monday.
 
Rao was requested to look at the possibility of supporting the Congress, an idea which he did not negate.
 
"Our party will not align with the BJP with or without Narendra Modi as it would have a negative impact in Tamil Nadu. There is an anti-BJP wave in Tamil Nadu. The DMK will not be part of a third front government formed with the support of the BJP," the DMK leader added.
 
DMK President Stalin told the media that it will be known only after the Lok Sabha election results are declared whether a non-Congress, non-BJP grouping was possible.
 
He said the Telangana Chief Minister met him on Monday out of courtesy. He said Rao came to Tamil Nadu primarily to visit temples.
 
Stalin said Rao did not meet him in connection with the formation of a third front.
 
Rao on Monday had an hour-long meeting with Stalin here but it appeared that his proposal for a non-BJP, non-Congress coalition didn't have takers.
 
According to the DMK, ideally the Congress should be part of any central government so that there is stability.
 
"In fact Rao's own party TRS has to win all the 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana so that he can try to forge a third front post election results," said the DMK leader who did not wish to be identified.
 
Political analyst Raveendhran Dhuraiswamy told IANS: "The DMK-Congress combine will get a sizeable percentage of votes. The DMK will not go with BJP after the elections. As for Stalin, Tamil Nadu is more important than having a say in the central government."
 
According to one DMK leader, if some third front proponents join hands with the BJP and form a coalition, then the DMK and Congress will be left alone. 
 
Meanwhile, DMK senior leader and Treasurer Duraimurugan on Tuesday met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu at Amaravati.
 
Duraimurugan told reporters that he met Naidu as a mark of courtesy.
 
IANS
 

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Mumbai lift fourth IPL title with 1-run win over CSK

 
Lasith Malinga delivered the killer blow as Mumbai Indians (MI) defeated bitter rivals Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by one run to lift a record fourth Indian Premier League (IPL) title in a rip-roaring final at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Sunday.
 
With two runs needed off the final delivery, Malinga executed a slower yorker to perfection, trapping Shardul Thakur (2) right in front to send his teammates, including skipper Rohit Sharma, into delirium as Shane Watson, whose breathtaking 80 went in vain, sunk in his seat in the Chennai dugout.
 
Chasing a modest 150 for victory, Watson, who was dropped on 56 by Rahul Chahar, carried Chennai's hopes with a belligerent 80 off 59 balls, his innings laced with eight fours and four sixes.
 
But once he was run out in the fourth ball of the final over, it was Sri Lankan Malinga who showed his class to snatch the crown from the defending champions.
 
In the last five overs, Chennai needed 62 off 30 balls. Watson then hit Malinga for a hat-trick of fours to trim the equation to 42 off 24 balls. 
 
There was no stopping the veteran Australian, who scored a hundred in the final to help Chennai win the IPL last year, as he clobbered Krunal Pandya for three back-to-back sixes in the 18th over which costed Mumbai 20 runs.
 
Mumbai's best bowler Jasprit Bumrah (2/14) then bowled a brilliant penultimate over, sending Bravo (15) back to the hut after the latter gave Quinton de Kock a simple catch behind the stumps. However, de Kock missed an easy gathering to gift Chennai four byes in the last ball of the over.
 
Earlier, Faf du Plessis (26) and Watson gave Chennai a steady start before Krunal got the former stumped by de Kock by luring him to come down the wicket. 
 
With du Plessis gone for 26 off 13, Watson and Suresh Raina (8) shared a 37-run stand for the second wicket as Chennai looked to be cruising.
 
Rohit then gave the ball to Rahul Chahar (1/14) who started Chennai's downfall by trapping Raina (8) in front. Ambati Rayudu (1) could not add much to the tally, getting caught behind off Bumrah.
 
The game-changing moment came in the 13th over when M.S. Dhoni (2) was caught short of the crease by Ishan Kishan, with replays showing it to be a close call.
 
Watson and Bravo then joined hands for a 51-run partnership for the fifth wicket which was finally broken by Bumrah. From there on, it was a see-saw battle which eventually saw Mumbai continue their dominance over Chennai in what was their fourth final meeting.
 
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Earlier, Deepak Chahar (3/26) and Imran Tahir (2/23) starred with the ball as CSK restricted MI to 149/8, even as Kieron Pollard hit an unbeaten cameo (41* off 25) down the order.
 
Pollard, who was dropped on 25 by Suresh Raina, was the top-scorer for Mumbai as he hammered three fours and three sixes. For Chennai, Shardul Thakur also picked up two wickets for 23 runs.
 
But Pollard hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons in the last over when as a mark of protest against the umpire not calling a wide in the previous delivery, he walked across -- even leaving the pitch -- to face the fourth ball before Dwayne Bravo pulled out. 
 
Opting to bat, Mumbai were off to a flying start riding on de Kock's power hitting. The South African stumper-batsman took on in-form Deepak Chahar in the third over, smashing three sixes to take 20 runs off it.
 
de Kock looked to be in the mood as he slapped Shardul for a six in the fifth over. But the pacer had his revenge in the next ball when he cramped de Kock for room with a quick delivery that the batsman lobbed to Dhoni who took an easy catch. de Kock clobbered four sixes en route his 17-ball 29.
 
In the next over, Dhoni became the wicket-keeper with most dismissals in IPL history when he dived forward to take Rohit's catch off Deepak Chahar who outfoxed the Mumbai captain with a knuckleball. Rohit's patchy form in the IPL continued as he could only manage 15 off 14 balls, hitting one four and a six.
 
Mumbai, who suddenly seemed to be in some sort of trouble at 45/2 after the Powerplay, were dented further by Imran Tahir who accounted for Suryakumar Yadav (15), the star of Mumbai's last game, and Ishan Kishan (23) as Krunal Pandya (7) was sent back in between by Shardul who took a brilliant catch off his own bowling.
 
With five overs remaining, Mumbai were 102/5 but Deepak Chahar's brilliance restricted them to a score of below 150 despite Pollard smashing two fours off the last two deliveries.
 
Brief scores: Mumbai Indians: 149/8 in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 41 not out, Quinton de Kock 29; Deepak Chahar 3/26, Imran Tahir 2/23); Chennai Super Kings: 148/7 in 20 overs (Shane Watson 80, Jasprit Bumrah 2/14)
 
IANS
 

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Mumbai beat Chennai for record fourth IPL title

 
Mumbai Indians became the first team to win four Indian Premier League (IPL) titles after they beat Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by one run in a rip-roaring final at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Sunday.
 
Chasing 150 for victory, Chennai managed 148/7 in 20 overs.
 
Brief scores: Mumbai Indians: 149/8 in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 41 not out, Quinton de Kock 29; Deepak Chahar 3/26, Imran Tahir 2/23) vs Chennai Super Kings: 148/7 in 20 overs (Shane Watson 80, Jasprit Bumrah 2/14)
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Tahir becomes highest wicket-taker in IPL 2019

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Imran Tahir became the highest wicket-taker in this season's Indian Premier League during the final between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, here on Sunday.
 
The South African leg-spinner surpassed compatriot Kagiso Rabada with 26 wickets to his name. The 40-year-old removed Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan to dent Mumbai's charge after the CSK was asked to bowl first by MI skipper Rohit Sharma.
 
Tahir has been in superb form this season and along with captain MS Dhoni, is one of the main reasons for the team's success.
 
IANS
 

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Chahar, Tahir star as Chennai restrict Mumbai to 149/8

 
Deepak Chahar (3/26) and Imran Tahir (2/23) starred with the ball as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) restricted Mumbai Indians (MI) to 149/8 in 20 overs in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Sunday, even as Kieron Pollard hit an unbeaten cameo (41* off 25) down the order.
 
Pollard, who was dropped on 25 by Suresh Raina, was the top-scorer for Mumbai as he hammered three fours and three sixes. For Chennai, Sahardul Thakur also picked up two wickets for 23 runs.
 
But Pollard hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons in the last over when as a mark of protest against the umpire not calling a wide in the previous delivery, he walked across -- even leaving the pitch -- to face the fourth ball before Dwayne Bravo pulled out. 
 
Opting to bat first, Mumbai openers Quinton de Kock (29 off 17) and Rohit Sharma (15 off 14) started cautiously, scoring just two runs in the first over. The duo, however, swiftly changed gears as de Kock clobbered Deepak Chahar for 20 runs in the third over and kept playing aggressively as Mumbai raced to 45 for no loss in 4.4 overs.
 
Shardul finally drew first blood as he packed back a dangerous looking de Kock in the very next ball. Three balls later, Deepak Chahar struck to send back Rohit. A slower delivery from the pacer did the trick as a thick edge off Rohit's bat was taken easily by M. S. Dhoni behind the stumps.
 
Suryakumar Yadav (15 off 17) and Ishan Kishan (23 off 26) then tried to repair the damage, adding 37 runs for the third wicket in the next six overs. But leg-spinner Imran Tahir struck to dismiss Suryakumar in the 12th over before Shardul also joined the party, dismissing new batsman Krunal Pandya (7 off 7) cheaply, which saw Mumbai reeling at 89/4.
 
Just when Mumbai touched the three-digit mark, Tahir struck again as he accounted for the wicket of Kishan in the 15th over. Pollard and Hardik Pandya then shared a 39-run partnership in quick time as the former's lusty blows propelled his side towards a modest total. However, while trying to accelerate the run-rate, Pandya became a victim of Deepak Chahar in the second last over.
 
Just a ball later, Deepak Chahar dismissed his brother Rahul Chahar, who didn't bother the scorers. From there Pollard could manage to add just nine runs to Mumbai's total, as his side somehow managed to post a fighting total.
 
Brief scores: Mumbai Indians: 149/8 in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 41 not out, Quinton de Kock 29; Deepak Chahar 3/26, Imran Tahir 2/23) vs Chennai Super Kings.
 
IANS

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Dhoni becomes most successful wicket-keeper in IPL

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday became the wicket-keeper with most dismissals to his credit in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). He now has 132 dismissals (94 catches and 38 stumping) to his name.
 
Chennai Super Kings skipper Dhoni surpassed Kolkata Knight Riders' skipper Dinesh Karthik (131 dismissals) when he caught Mumbai Indians openers Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma here on Sunday. 
 
Karthik had held the IPL record before Sunday. Robin Uthappa of KKR is the third best with 90 dismissals.
 
Dhoni first took an easy catch to dismiss South Africa stumper bastman de Kock who was looking good on 29 off 17. Shardul Thakur was the bowler.
 
In the very next over, the former India captain dived forward to take a low catch that saw the back of his counterpart Rohit Sharma for 15. Deepak Chahar was the bowler this time.
 
Chennai are taking on Mumbai for the coveted IPL title. It is their fourth final meeting. Both teams have won the IPL trophy three times each.
 
IANS
 

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Mumbai opt to bat against Chennai in IPL final

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Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bat against defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the summit clash of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, here on Sunday.
 
Mumbai made one change in the team since their last match against Chennai in the first qualifier with Mitchell McClenaghan replacing Jayant Yadav. Chennai, on the other hand, kept the team unchanged.
 
Playing XI:
 
Chennai Super Kings: Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(Captain/wicket-keeper), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur & Imran Tahir.
 
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah & Lasith Malinga.
 
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IPL final: MI, CSK rivalry set to unfold on biggest stage

 
Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) seem to always spiral towards each other in their relentless hunt for the Indian Premier League (IPL) title. On Sunday, the two sides will face each other for the fourth time this season.
 
It is also the fourth time that CSK and MI will be pitted against each other in an IPL final. They are the two most successful teams in the tournament's history and the final on Sunday will be another chapter in what has been an epic rivalry between two sides who are as different from each other as a pair of sporting opposites can be.
 
While CSK are known to be a team that dominates the group stage, MI are notoriously slow starters. Both sides stayed true to their reputation this season. While MI had a sputtering start to their season, before taking off, CSK remained top of the table for much of the group stages and were one of the first teams to confirm qualification to the playoffs.
 
However, CSK were pipped to the top spot by Mumbai Indians, thanks to the 9-wicket hiding the latter handed out to Kolkata Knight Riders in their last group game. MI are also the only team that CSK haven't been able to beat this season with the MS Dhoni-led side losing the two group matches and the first qualifier against their rivals. 
 
Mumbai also have the statistical edge in IPL finals played between the two sides, having ended three out of the four title clashes between the two sides on the winning side.
 
However, CSK displayed ominous form in the way they swatted Delhi Capitals aside in the second Qualifier. The ever-reliable CSK spinners helped them restrict Delhi Capitals to 147/9. Coming to the chase, Shane Watson finally found form and his opening partnership of 81 with Faf du Plessis set the stage for a rollicking win for the Yellow Brigade. They ended up winning the match by six wickets with an over to spare. 
 
Unpredictability is a constant in the IPL, a fact that has been as apparent as ever this season with the numerous collapses and death over run-bursts that we have seen in the group stage. There is no reason to believe that the final would be any different. But it will all boil down to the team which holds its nerves on the day of the big battle.
 
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, K M Asif, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan, Scott Kuggeleijn. 
 
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Anmolpreet Singh, Siddhesh Lad, Ankul Roy, Evin Lewis, Pankaj Jaiswal, Ben Cutting, Ishan Kishan, Aditya Tare, Rasikh Salam, Barinder Sran, Jayant Yadav, Beuran Hendricks and Lasith Malinga.
 
IANS
 

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