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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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Blue Dart to set up new aviation hub in Chennai

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Leading Indian logistics services provider Blue Dart, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) Group, has said that it would set up a new state-of-the-art aviation hub in Chennai for faster and more efficient transfer fo shipments, improved transit times and extension of the company's market leading service quality.
 
The hub will measure 4,912 sq. meters upon completion and is strategically located at the Blue Dart Aviation Terminal, Gate 6 Old International Airport at Meenambakkam here, with both air and land side access, a press release from the company said.
 
The new facility will also house the headquarters of Blue Dart Aviation, India’s only commercial cargo airline which provides a dedicated fleet of six B757-200 freighters and a capacity of 500 tonnes every night, operating across 73 flight sectors daily. 
 
The hub boasts BCAS approved security screening with its own X-Ray machines, equipment and dedicated manpower.
 
Charles Brewer, CEO, DHL eCommerce said, “We see immense potential in India across many fast-growing industries such as e-commerce, banking and financial services, automotive, pharmaceuticals and more. These industries demand high quality, fast, seamless logistics to support their growth and we are continually investing in our people, service and infrastructure to ensure we support the growth of our customers.”
 
Malcolm Monteiro, CEO, DHL eCommerce India added, “The new aviation hub will further improve our already market-leading transit times and boost on-time performance, further strengthening our promise of being the nation’s most reliable logistics brand. As part of the world’s leading logistics company, we are committed to supporting India businesses and will continue to be the logistics provider of choice for India.”
 
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Anil Khanna, Managing Director, Blue Dart said, “Blue Dart continues to be the undisputed market leader in the logistics industry in India. We continue to invest heavily in technology and infrastructure to create differentiated delivery capabilities, provide the best quality services and customized solutions for our customers. The new aviation hub in Chennai reaffirms Blue Dart’s commitment to support India’s growth story”.
 
Commenting on the new aviation hub in Chennai, Tulsi Mirchandaney, Managing Director, Blue Dart Aviation added, “The Airport Expansion Programme has facilitated the need to have a modernized, more efficient and productive infrastructure to support demand and growth. Blue Dart supports the critical supply chains of numerous industry segments, and improved infrastructure at the Airports will go a long way in helping us support the PM’s ‘Make in India’ Vision”.
 
The facility also houses training facilities which are approved by BCAS and DGCA with own instructors who will carry out Crew, Engineering, Security and Operations training. Blue Dart is also regulatory approved for and carries out its own airframe heavy maintenance and aircraft modifications at its headquarters, and self-handling at all of its on line stations. 
 
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Split verdict in MLAs disqualification case a breather for TN government

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In a breather to Tamil Nadu's AIADMK government led by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami, the Madras High Court on Thursday gave a split verdict in the case of disqualification of 18 rebel MLAs.
 
Chief Justice Indira Banerjee upheld the disqualification ordered by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal while Justice M. Sundar held the Speaker's decision invalid.
 
Justice Banerjee said in view of the contradicting judgements, the case will now be transferred to a third judge, adding that she she will not decide on the third judge and that decision will be taken by a senior judge, most likely Justice Kuluvadi Ramesh.
 
Maintaining status quo, the court also said till the case is finally decided the interim order issued earlier that barred holding of by-elections and floor test in the Assembly continue to be valid.
 
Responding to the judgment, rebel leader T.T.V. Dinakaran said: "The longevity of the anti-people government now gets extended by couple of months. It is not at all a setback for us. We got 50 per cent victory." 
 
Chief Justice Banerjee, in her judgment, said the Speaker's decision could not be called unreasonable and need not be interfered with by the court, but Justice Sundar said he differed, citing a Supreme Court judgement to say that the High Court can interfere in the order of the Speaker which was not within the confines of law.
 
Had the judgement gone either way - upholding the disqualification or setting aside the Speaker's order, the AIADMK government would have faced critical problems.
 
In case the court had upheld the disqualification, then there would have been by-elections in 18 constituencies. If the DMK won all of them, then the government's survival would be in question.
 
On other hand, if the court had quashed the Speaker's disqualification order, the government may still have to face a no-confidence motion, if moved by the DMK.
 
The ruling party would also try to win over the 18 legislators now in Dinakaran camp.
 
As per the party position in 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly, the AIADMK has 116 members followed by the DMK with 89, Congress with 8, one of the IUML, one Independent, the Speaker and 18 vacant seats. Besides, there is one nominated member.
 
PMK founder S.Ramadoss said the state government is surviving mainly due to legal delays and others and the K. Palaniswami government has no justification to continue in power and should resign immediately.
 
DMK leader M.K.Stalin, in a tweet, said: "Not only delayed justice is denied.... When people are having faith on the judiciary for protecting democracy. there should be clear and fast judgements."
 
VCK leader Thol Thirumavalan termed the judgment "unexpected".
 
"The final decision on the case should be given at the earliest," Thirumavalavan added.
 
The case comes from the time when Panneerselvam had rebelled against the party led by jailed leader V.K. Sasikala. Later, he merged his group with the one led by Palaniswami, who sidelined Sasikala and her nephew Dinakaran.
 
A group of 19 lawmakers met then Governor C.V. Rao and gave a memorandum expressing loss of confidence in Palaniswami and requested him to appoint a new Chief Minister. The Speaker then issued notice to the lawmakers asking them why they should not be disqualified under the anti-defection law. Subsequently, one of them, S.T.K. Jakkaiyan, switched over to the Palaniswami side and the others were disqualified.
 
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The case filed by the disqualified legislators against the Speaker's action is pending before the High Court since September 2017. The court had reserved the judgement on January 24.
 
Hours before the judgment, Tamil Nadu Advocate General Vijay Narayanan met Palaniswami.
 
Earlier in the day, the disqualified lawmakers met Dinakaran and discussed the steps to be taken ahead.
 
In April, in a different case, the Madras High Court had said it could not interfere with the Speaker's domain.
 
On April 27, the court dismissed a petition filed by DMK Whip R. Sakkarapani seeking disqualification of 11 AIADMK legislators, including Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, for voting against the government during a confidence motion moved by Palaniswami on February 18 last year.
 
The court said it had the power of judicial review of decisions taken but could not interfere in a matter where the Speaker had not taken a decision.
 
It also referred to a case pending in the Supreme Court on a similar issue arising from Andhra Pradesh.
 
IANS
 
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Maharashtra MPs make a clean sweep of Sansadratna awards

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Five Members of Parliament (MPs) from Maharashtra and one from Odisha, belonging to different parties, today won the best parliamentary performance award from a civil society organisation Prime Point Foundation. 
 
Former Union  Minister and senior Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily, Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, won a special award for heading the parliamentary standing committee on finance in the 16th Lok Sabha.
 
The Sansad Ratna Awards 2018, instituted nine years ago by the Chennai-based NGO which also runs an e-magazine PreSense, has been giving these awards based on inputs received by Parliament and the PRSI. The awards were instituted at the suggestion of late President APJ Abdul Kalam as civil society recognition for MPs' outstanding performance in the Parliament.
 
 The six MPs from Lok Sabha received their award -- a citation and a shawl -- from former West Bengal Governor and National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and former Chief Election Commissioner TS Krishnamurthy at a function held in collaboration with IIT Madras.
 
The MPs who received the awards were Bhartruhari Mahtab (Biju Janata Dal, Cuttack, Odisha), Supriya Sule (Nationalist Congress Party, Baramati, Maharashtra), Shrirang Appa Barne (Shiv Sena, Mavel, Maharashtra), Rajeev Shankarrao Satav (Indian National Congress, Hingoli, Maharashtra) and Dhananjay Bhimrao Mahadik (Nationalist Congress Party, Kolhapur, Maharashtra) under different categories.
 
The selection of individual awardees is based on the performance parameters like initiated debates, private members’ bills, questions raised and attendance in the House. 
 
The data is provided by Lok Sabha Secretariat and PRS India. Dr Heena Vijayakumar Gavit (Bharatiya Janata Party, Nandurbar, Maharaashtra) won the award under the Women MP category. 
 
For the first time from this year ,  one ‘Departmentally Related Standing Committee’ of Parliament is being honoured based on criteria like the reports presented, the number of sittings held and the number of subjects selected, and others.
 
Since 2015, Prime Point Foundation and PreSense have been honouring outstanding Rajya Sabha Members, who had retired in the previous year, after completing the full six-year term.  Shantharam Laxman Naik (Indian National Congress, Goa) was nominated for this year's award under Rajya Sabha category. He retired from Rajya Sabha in 2017.
 
A Jury Committee headed by Anandrao Adsul (fifth time MP), along with Hansraj G Ahir (Minister of State - Home and fourth time MP) and Arjun Ram Meghwal (Minister of State – Parliamentary Affairs and second time MP) selected the award winners.
 
The jury committee members, who were outstanding Parliamentarians themselves in terms of their performance in the Parliament, were honoured with the 'Sansad Maha Ratna' Awards for their sustained performance in the 15th Lok Sabha.
 
While Prime Point Foundation chairman and founder K Srinivasan recalled the history of how the sansadratna journey began, the executive president Bhavnesh Deora listed the achievements of the award winners. IIT Madras Director Bhaskar and Head of Humanities Dr Sudarsan also spoke on the occasion.
 
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Rajinikanth's 'Kaala' releases in Tamil Nadu amid fanfare

 
Rajinikanth fans welcome Kaala with open hearts
 
 
Dancing to drum rolls, bursting fire crackers, cutting cakes is how fans of actor Rajinikanth celebrated the release of film "Kaala" in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.
 
Additional security was provided by the police at all the several hundred movie theatres where the film is being screened in the state.
 
Large crowds were seen outside all these theatres since early in the day.
 
"I am a fan of Rajinikanth. I am from Karnataka and came here to see the movie," a person told the media outside a theatre here.
 
"Today is Diwali for me. I have waited for a long time for this movie," a fan told a television channel in Coimbatore theatre. "This not Rajinikanth movie but movie director P.Ranjith movie." 
 
"Kaala" has been facing opposition in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
 
Several Tamil activists and political parties voiced their opposition to Rajinikanth's views on the violence in Thuthookudi.
 
Visiting the violence-hit town where 13 persons were killed on May 22 in police action amid anti-Sterlite Copper smelter plant protests, Rajinikanth had said it was anti-social elements that indulged in violence.
 
In Karnataka, the film's release was opposed by some organisations after the southern superstar said the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) on the sharing of river water between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry, has to be set up.
 
IANS
 
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Gohain flags off Santragachi-Chennai Central Antyodaya Express

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Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain flagged off the new weekly 22841/22842 Santragachi-Chennai Central Antyodaya Express  yesterday.
 
Train N0.22841 will depart from Santragachi, in neighbouring  Howrah  district, on Monday at 1900 hours and arrive at Chennai at 2245 hours on Tuesday.
 
Train no. 22842 will depart from Chennai at 0810 hours on Wednesday and arrive at Santragachi at 1025 hours on Thursday.
 
The journey time from Santragachi to Chennai, covering a distance of 1656 km is 27 hours and 45 minutes and from Chennai to Santragachi, 26 hours and 15 minutes.
 
The 18-coach train has 16 General coaches and 2 Power Cars. It will stop at Kharagpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur Keonjhar Road, Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Khurda Road, Balugaon, Chatrapur, Brahampur, Sompetta, Palasa, Srikakulam Road, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Duvvada, Anakapalle, Samalkot Jn., Rajahmundry, Eluru, Vijayawada, Chirala, Ongole, Nellore, Gudur, Sullurupetta. The coaches in Antyodaya Express are fully unreserved LHB second class coaches.
 
It has several new amenities including cushioned luggage racks which can serve as seats, additional handholds in doorway area, vestibule for movement of the passengers between the coaches, potable drinking water dispenser, mobile charging points, Fire Extinguisher with anti-theft lock and FRP (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) Modular Toilets.
 
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Madras HC orders TN to explain Thoothukudi firing

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The Madras High Court's Madurai Bench on Friday ordered the Tamil Nadu government to state the reasons, by June 6, for the May 22 police firing in Thoothukudi which left 13 persons dead.
 
The court's order came as it heard a petition demanding registration of murder cases against senior police and other government officials for the firing and also setting up a Special Investigative Team (SIT).
 
On May 22, police fired at people protesting against the Sterlite Copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi killing 13 and injuring over 60 persons.
 
The government was asked to submit its report by June 6.
 
Earlier Chief Minister K. Palaniswami told the media that people in Thoothukudi had been protesting peacefully for long against the company, alleging that it was causing health hazards and depleting the water table, but this time, the opposition and "anti-social elements" had turned the movement violent.
 
"It is because of this instigation that so many people have died. And we are really saddened by the deaths," he said.
 
According to an FIR lodged by Thoothukudi police, a Deputy Tehsildar has claimed that he had ordered police firing on May 22 against the anti-Sterlite Copper protestors.
 
The FIR filed by the police on May 22 says that Sekar, Deputy Tehsildar in Thoothukudi, admitted that it was he who had ordered the police firing at the protesters after all the other steps to preserve law and order failed.
 
As per the FIR, Sekar said he had at first warned the protesters that force would be used and when his request was defied, he ordered a baton charge. When this proved inadequate and the crowd kept surging forward menacingly and attacked the police personnel, he had ordered the firing of tear gas shells after due warning.
 
The official said when tear gas shells failed to disperse the violent mob, which was destroying public property and attacking police personnel near the Collectorate, he had ordered firing as the last resort. Twelve persons were killed in police firing on May 22 and later one more person died in a fresh firing.
 
IANS
 
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Two-day nationwide strike by bank employees begins

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The two-day bank strike by over 10 lakh bankers demanding early wage settlement starting Wednesday has evoked good response nationwide, said a top leader of the All India Bank Employees' Association.
 
"Around 85,000 bank branches spread across the country, including that of State Bank of India and some private banks will remain closed for two days. The response to the strike is good," C.H. Venkatachalam, General Secretary, AIBEA told IANS.
 
Queried about the value and volume of money instruments that would not be cleared by the bank's clearing houses Venkatachalam said: "On all India basis clearance of 39 lakh instruments with a value of Rs 21,700 crore per day would be impacted. 
 
"The above value and volume were the averages of last 15 days clearance of instruments."
 
The May 30-31 strike is spearheaded by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions.
 
The bankers are striking work demanding early revision of the wages. The wage revision has been due since November 1, 2017.
 
Venkatachalam said the unions had requested the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) to come up with a better offer than the mere two per cent hike offer made earlier so that the strike could be averted.
 
He said the IBA was also asked not to delink the wage negotiations for bank officers in the Scales 4-7. The IBA did not do anything.
 
He said that, at the conciliation meeting held on Monday, the Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC) had asked the IBA not to raise new controversies like delinking the wage talks for officers in the 4-7 scale.
 
"Though the CLC tried its best to sort out the strike issues, there is no positive developments. Hence strike on May 30 and 31 (Wednesday and Thursday) stands," All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) General Secretary D.T. Franco had said earlier.
 
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According to Venkatachalam, with regard to the coverage of officers from Scale 4-7, the IBA said it did not get the mandate from six banks as they opted to cover officers up to Scale 3 level.
 
However, 14 banks have given the mandate for covering the officers up to Scale 7 in wage negotiations as was done in the previous wage settlement negotiations, he said.
 
With bank branches closed for two days, the ATM machines are being loaded with additional cash to meet any contingency.
 
"The private banks (like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank) are working and there is no problem there. In the case of public sector banks the strike call was known well ahead. So, we have collected cash in advance from the banks for loading in the ATMs," V. Balasubramanian, President, Financial Software and Systems (FSS), told IANS.
 
The city based FSS manages ATMs for several banks in the country.
 
"Generally we know the cash dispensation per day per ATM. We load the machines with cash for two days transaction value which is at an average is around Rs 6 lakh. This time we have loaded ATMs with cash of around Rs 15 lakh which would take care of the average cash dispensation for four days," Balasubramanian said.
 
According to him, the ATMs are loaded more with Rs 500 notes.
 
The Bank of Maharashtra MD and CEO Ravindra P Marathe has urged his customers to make the maximum use of digital banking services for their transcations as the strike might disrupt normal banking services at the branches.
 
IANS
 
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10 lakh bankers to go on two-day strike on May 30-31

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Over 10 lakh bankers in the government and private sectors are gearing up for a two-day strike starting on May 30, as the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) did not make any improved offer over the two per cent wage hike made earlier, an All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) leader said.
 
The strike is spearheaded by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), an umbrella body of nine unions.
 
The bankers would strike work demanding early revision of the wages. The wage revision has been due since November 1, 2017.
 
"It is now too late for us to go back on our strike call. We had requested the IBA to come up with a better offer than the mere two per cent hike offer made earlier. 
 
"We also asked the IBA not to delink the wage negotiations for bank officers in the Scales 4-7. The IBA did not do anything," AIBEA General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam told IANS.
 
He said at the conciliation meeting held on Monday, the Chief Labour Commissioner (CLC) had asked the IBA not to raise new controversies like delinking the wage talks for officers in the 4-7 scale.
 
"Though the CLC tried its best to sort out the strike issues, there is no positive developments. Hence strike on May 30 and 31 (Wednesday and Thursday) stands," All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) General Secretary D.T. Franco said.
 
According to Venkatachalam, with regard to the coverage of officers from Scale 4-7 the IBA said it did not get the mandate from six banks as they opted to cover officers up to Scale 3 level.
 
However, 14 banks have given the mandate for covering the officers up to Scale 7 in wage negotiations as was done in the previous wage settlement negotiations, he said.
 
IANS
 
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Sterlite copper smelter plant to be shut: TN government

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The Tamil Nadu government on Monday issued orders closing the copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi owned by the Vedanta Group, a week after 13 people were killed in police firing during protests against continued functioning of the unit.
 
The Government Order said it has been brought to the notice of the government that Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) did not renew the 'Consent to Operate' to the copper smelter plant in Thoothukudi by its order of April 9 this year and subsequently on May 23, the PCB has also issued directions for closure and disconnection of power supply. 
 
"Under Sections 18(1)(B) of the Water Act, 1974 in the larger public interest, the Government endorse the closure direction of the TNPCB and also direct the TNPCB to seal the unit and close the plant permanently," said the Order.
 
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy said in a separate statement that the 'Consent to Operate' permission for the copper smelter plant ended in March this year and it was not renewed by the TNPCB. The electricity and water connections to the plant have been disconnected from May 24, he said.
 
The Chief Minister said the demand of the people of Thoothukudi to the government for closure of the plant has been accepted by the government and orders have been issued to this effect.
 
The order is also significant because the protesters against the functioning of the copper smelter have been demanding that the government should issue formal orders as they would not be satisfied with verbal promises.
 
Welcoming the order, protesters said they needed a Cabinet decision on this as otherwise the company would approach courts and get a stay. They also wanted the Central government to take a similar stand.
 
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Earlier in the day, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Monday visited Thoothukudi, the first senior political representative to go to the violence-hit town, and announced that the government will take necessary steps to permanently shut down the copper smelter plant.
 
Pannerselvam visited the hospital in Thoothukudi and enquired about the health of those injured in the police firing on anti-Sterlite Copper protesters on May 22, in which 13 persons died.
 
Speaking to reporters, the Deputy Chief Minister said that compensation to the injured was being paid.
 
Normalcy was slowly returning in the town with shops and other establishments opening their doors for customers.
 
Internet connectivity has also resumed since Sunday midnight after it was suspended on May 23.
 
"Shops are open now. Normalcy is returning. But till the copper smelter plant is permanently closed there will not be total peace in the city," S. Raja of Thoothukudi Traders Association told IANS.
 
Raja also said murder charge should be registered against the police officials who shot the protestors.
 
According to Raja, post-mortem examination has been done on seven bodies out of the 13 who were killed in the police firing. However, the relatives have not claimed the bodies yet.
 
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Watson blitz helps Chennai clinch 3rd IPL title

Shane Watson was back to his brutal best as the opener's scintillating unbeaten 117 runs helped Chennai Super Kings lift their third Indian Premier League (IPL) title, thrashing Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets in the summit clash here on Sunday.
 
Making a comeback after serving two years of a ban, the Yellow Brigade stood up to their reputation of being one of the best teams in the cash-rich league. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side hunted down a competitive 179-run target against one of the best bowling attacks of the current season with nine balls to spare.
 
Watson was in devastating touch in his entire 57-ball innings, which comprised 11 boundaries and eight massive hits into the stands. 
 
The Australian along with Suresh Raina (32) forged a 117-run match-winning partnership to put Chennai ahead of their opponents.
 
Chasing 179, Chennai lost their first wicket in the fourth over as opener Faf du Plessis (10) was caught and bowled by pacer Sandeep Sharma when the scoreboard was reading just 13 runs.
 
Raina then joined Watson and the duo started slamming the bowlers all round the park at will. The strike mostly remained with Watson and the Australian all-rounder took advantage beautifully by unleashing some ferocious shots. 
 
Soon the duo helped their team get past the 100-run mark in the 12th over and just after that Watson, who was looking at his best, hammered Sandeep to 27 runs in his final over.
 
Trying to join the party, Raina miscued while trying to pull a short ball from Carlos Brathwaite which nicked his gloves and landed in the wicketkeeeper's hand. 
 
The southpaw's 24-ball knock was laced with three boundaries and one six.
 
The fall of the wicket brought in Ambati Rayudu (16 not out) who followed the same strategy of giving the strike to Watson. Soon, the Australian reached his second century of the season off just 51 deliveries through a single off Rashid Khan.
 
With Chennai needing 21 runs in 20 balls, the duo kept on playing freely and overhauled the target with ease to become the only team to beat a side four times in a single season.
 
For Hyderabad, Carlos Brathwaite and Sharma took one wicket each.
 
Earlier, put in to bat first, Yusuf Pathan's unbeaten 45 runs off 25 balls along with skipper Kane Williamson's 47 helped Sunrisers Hyderabad post a competitive 178/6.
 
In a batting friendly track at the Wankhede stadium here, Yusuf, who came when the scoreboard was reading 101/3, played a good knock to propel Hyderabad to a good total in their 20 overs. 
 
The Baroda batsman's unbeaten innings contained four boundaries and a couple of hits into the stands.
 
Hyderabad started their proceedings on a bad note as opener Shreevats Goswami (5) gifted his wicket in the second over with the just 13 runs on the board.
 
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Opener Shikhar Dhawan was then joined by Williamson and the duo stabilised Hyderabad's innings, putting on a 51-run partnership for the second wicket. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja broke the partnership in the ninth over as he clean bowled Dhawan on 26 runs.
 
Shakib Al Hasan then took Hyderabad's innings forward with his skipper as the side crossed the 100-run mark in 11.5 overs. However, in a desperate attempt, Williamson came down the wicket trying to play big, but the ball drifted away and then Dhoni did the rest behind the stumps.
 
Williamson's fall bought Yusuf in the middle and the right-hander made clear his intentions from the very beginning, smashing a boundary in the second ball he faced.
 
But when things seemed good in the middle, Bravo packed back Shakib (23 off 15) in the 16th over, leaving Hyderabad at 133/4.
 
Incoming batsman Deepak Hooda (3) fell cheaply in the 17th over which saw Brathwaite joining Yusuf.
 
The Baroda batsman then accumulated 34 runs for Hyderabad with Brathwaite in the remaining 18 deliveries to help their side reach a competitive total in the mega final. 
 
Brathwaite, who fell to the final delivery of Hyderabad's innings, chipped in with a valuable 21 runs 11 balls.
 
Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 178/6 (Kane Williamson 47, Yusuf Pathan 45 not out; Lungi Ngidi 1/26) vs Chennai Super Kings: 181/2 (Shane Watson 117 not out; Carlos Brathwaite 1/27).
 
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Chennai Super Kings ride Watson ton to lift third IPL crown

Shane Watson notched up a brilliant century as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by eight wickets in the final to lift the Indian Premier League (IPL) title here at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
 
Chasing 179 for victory, seasoned Australian opener Watson smashed an unbeaten 57-ball 117, his fourth IPL hundred, as M.S. Dhoni's team bagged their third crown after returning to the fold following a two-year suspension. 
 
Chennai piled up 181/2 in 18.3 overs against Sunrisers' 178/6 in 20 overs, riding on skipper Kane Williamson's 36-ball 47 and Yusuf Pathan's 21 off 11 balls.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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IPL: Yusuf, Williamson help Hyderabad post 178/6 against Chennai in final

Yusuf Pathan's unbeaten 45 runs off 25 balls along with skipper Kane Williamson's 47 helped Sunrisers Hyderabad post a competitive 178/6 against Chennai Super Kings in the summit clash of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Sunday.
 
In a batting-friendly track at the Wankhede Stadium here, Yusuf, who came when the scoreboard was reading 101/3, played a good knock to propel Hyderabad to a decent total in their 20 overs. 
 
The Baroda batsman's unbeaten innings contained four boundaries and a couple of hits into the stands.
 
Put in to bat, Hyderabad started their proceedings on a bad note as opener Shreevats Goswami (5) gifted his wicket in the second over with  just 13 runs on the board.
 
While trying to convert a single, Goswami fell short of the crease when a throw from long leg by Karn Sharma was easily picked by Dhoni to give Hyderabad the first jolt.
 
Opener Shikhar Dhawan was then joined by Williamson and the duo stabilised Hyderabad's innings putting on a 51-run partnership for the second wicket.
 
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja broke the partnership in the ninth over as he clean bowled Dhawan on 26 runs.
 
Shakib Al Hasan then took Hyderabad's innings forward with his skipper as the side crossed the 100-run mark in 11.5 overs. However, in a desperate attempt, Williamson came down the wicket trying to play big, but the ball drifted away and Dhoni did the rest behind the stumps.
 
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The Hyderabad skipper's knock came off 36 balls, decorated with five boundaries and two sixes.
 
Williamson's fall bought Yusuf in the middle and the right-hander made clear his intentions from the very beginning, smashing a boundary in the second ball he faced.
 
But when things seemed good in the middle, Bravo packed back Shakib (23 off 15) in the 16th over, leaving Hyderabad at 133/4.
 
Incoming batsman Deepak Hooda (3) fell cheaply in the 17th over which saw Carlos Brathwaite joining Yusuf.
 
The Baroda batsman then accumulated 34 runs for Hyderabad with Brathwaite in the remaining 18 deliveries to help their side reach a competitive total in the mega final. 
 
Brathwaite, who fell in the final delivery of Hyderabad's innings, chipped in with a valuable 21 runs off 11 balls.
 
For Chennai, Lungi Ngidi, Shardul Thakur, Karn Sharma, Dwayne Bravo and Jadeja bagged one wicket each.
 
Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 178/6 (Kane Williamson 47, Yusuf Pathan 45 not out; Lungi Ngidi 1/26) vs Chennai Super Kings 
 
IANS
 
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IPL: Hyderabad post 178/6 against Chennai in final

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) posted 178/6 in 20 overs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) final at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.
 
Skipper Kane Williamson top-scored for Hyderabad with a 36-ball 47 while Yusuf Pathan hit an unbeaten 25-ball 45 and Carlos Brathwaite smashed 21 off 11.
 
For Chennai, Lungi Ngidi, Karn Sharma, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja all got a wicket each.
 
Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 178/6 in 20 overs (Kane Williamson 47, Yusuf Pathan 45; Lungi Ngidi 1/26, Karn Sharma 1/25, Dwayne Bravo 1/46, R Jadeja 1/24).
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Chennai, Hyderabad to face off in high-octane IPL final

The 51-day-long T20 carnival has finally reached its climax as two-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Sunrisers Hyderabad will face off in the summit clash of the 11th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.
 
While Chennai, the two-time IPL champions, had already made it to the final by beating Hyderabad by two wickets in the Qualifier 1 of the cash-rich league here on Tuesday, Hyderabad had to go through the second qualifier.
 
The Kane Williamson-led side overcame Kolkata Knight Riders' challenge by 14 runs at the Eden Gardens on Friday to seal a place in the coveted final.
 
Both the sides have met each other thrice in the ongoing edition of the league and the Super Kings hold a 3-0 record over their southern neighbours.
 
In the much-awaited final on Sunday, which could also be seen as a southern derby, it will be clash between Hyderabad's bowling and Chennai's batting. 
 
With the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan and Siddarth Kaul, the orange army boasts of a superb bowling attack whereas the yellow brigade has a star-studded batting line-up comprising Shane Watson, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina and others.
 
For Chennai, each of the batsman had risen to the occassion whenever their side needed it.
 
The yellow brigade have been on a roll since making their comeback to the IPL fold after serving a two-year-ban, and have rarely lost the momentum this season with the old guards and new sensations firing in unison.
 
In their final league game at their adopted home ground in Pune last Sunday, CSK rode on Suresh Raina's gutsy half-century to romp home by five wickets. 
 
Later, in the Qualifier 1, a match where most of the Chennai batsmen faultered against Hyderabad, opener Faf du PLessies smashed a match-winning half-century to help Chennai reach their seventh IPL final on Tuesday.
 
Rayudu, the other opener in Chennai's side, has been the standout performer with 586 runs. Australian Watson has also been in top form, accumulating 438 runs from 13 matches, while Raina, skipper Dhoni and all-rounder Deepak Chahar have been the backbone of CSK's middle order.
 
On the bowling front, the former two-time champions will bank on young South African Lungi Ngidi, who has six wickets from 10 games with a decent economy rate of 5.90.
 
With Shardul Thakur, Chahar and Dwayne Bravo doing their bit on the pace bowling front, CSK will hope for veteran Harbhajan Singh leading the spin attack with left-armer Ravindra Jadeja in the middle overs. 
 
Coming to Hyderabad, the orange army has mainly banked on their bowling which has a lot of variety and some of the best names in the business.
 
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Afghan spinner Rashid has been brilliant throughout the season bagging 21 wickets from 16 games.
 
The leggie came up with a sensational figure of 3/19 against Kolkata last night apart from a quick-fire cameo of 34 from just 10 balls.
 
Rashid had also troubled Chennai in the first qualifier with figures of 2/11. 
 
On the batting front, top scorer of the tournament Williamson has led from the front. The New Zealand skipper, rated as one of the best batters of the current generation, has so far amassed 688 runs in 16 games at an average of 52.92. 
 
Williamson has also led admirably on the field.
 
Opener Shikhar Dhawan has also been good, amassing 471 runs from 15 games and Hyderabad's opening will mostly rely on him.
 
The middle-order however, needs to find their touch for one final time in the league as Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan have failed to live up to the expectations.
 
It will also be interesting to see whether Yusuf gets a chance in the playing XI in the mega final as the Baroda right hander has failed miserably in the present season, with just 215 runs from 15 games.
 
Overall, it could be another edge-of-the-seat match on a Super Sunday for fans when the two best teams of this year's league square-off for one final time.
 
Squads:
 
Chennai Super Kings- MS Dhoni(Captain/WK), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Kanishk Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshitiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, N Jagadeesan, David Willey.
 
Sunrisers Hyderabad- Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Shakib Al Hasan, Kane Williamson(Captain), Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Deepak Hooda, Siddarth Kaul, T Natarajan, Mohammad Nabi, Basil Thampi, K Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Tanmay Agarwal, Shreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Alex Hales.
 
IANS
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TN CM blames parties, anti-socials for Thoothukudi violence

 
One dead, three injured in fresh violence in Thoothukudi
 
 
Thoothukudi remained tense for the third day as the death toll in police firing climbed to 13 while Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswamy on Thursday accused political parties and anti-social elements of "deliberately instigating and misleading" innocent people leading to violence and loss of lives.
 
Selvasekar (43), who suffered serious injuries in police lathicharge on Tuesday, succumbed to injuries in hospital. More than 70 people, including police personnel who were injured in the clashes and violence, were undergoing treatment in the Government General Hospital.
 
Meanwhile, an uneasy calm prevailed in Thoothukudi after two days of riots, arson and firing and the situation continues to be tense across the district. Shops and commercial establishments were shut for the third consecutive day while government offices witnessed thin attendance.
 
Chief Minister Palaniswamy, who met reporters in Chennai, said his government would continue to take steps legally for closure of the Sterlite copper smelter plant against which the local people have been protesting and said electricity to the plant was cut on Thursday.
 
"Some political parties and anti-social elements have wantonly instigated the innocent people who have been protesting peacefully all along and took them on the wrong path, leading to unfortunate incidents," Palaniswamy said without naming any political party.
 
Replying to a question on who had given permission for the firing, he said there was nothing like permission. 
 
"It was natural that somebody would act in self-defence when attacked and the action was not pre-meditated. The police used tear gas shells, resorted to lathi charge and then only opened fire when mobs set on fire vehicles near the district collectorate and stormed the residential quarters in the plant and the district collectorate," he said.
 
Usualy the police make preventive arrests but this time there was sudden violence compared to the peaceful protest that had been going on. The protesters had met the district administration 16 times in the past and their grievances had been addressed. 
 
"We express deep condolences and a sense of sorrow over the loss of lives," he said.
 
Appealing to the people to maintain peace and calm, he said all efforts were being taken to ensure return of normalcy in Thoothukudi.
 
Asked about the charge by DMK leader M.K. Stalin that he refused to meet him on the issue, the Chief Minister accused him of enacting a drama outside his roon in the Secretariat by doing a dharna when he was not there.
 
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Replying to a question about the criticism that he did not visit Thoothukudi to meet the relatives of the victims and the injured, he said prohibitory orders had been imposed and people should respect law by not holding protests or taking out processions.
 
"Our first priority is return of normalcy," he said, taking an apparent dig at Stalin and other opposition leaders who have made a beeline to Thoothukudi.
 
Referring to the protests and the functioning of the sterlite plant, the Chief Minister said that the late Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha had ordered closure of the sterlite plant in 2013 but the company appealed against the order in the National Green Tribunal which allowed the company to operate under some conditions.
 
A case in this regard was still on in the Supreme Court and the Tamil Nadu government's lawyers have strongly put forward their arguments.
 
With prohibitory orders continuing in sensitive areas, a bandh like situation prevailed in Thhothukudi town for the third day. Most people struggled to buy essential commodities. Internet services have been suspended folloing the state government advisory to the service providers to prevent provocative messages and rumours being spread on the social media.
 
Sanddep Nanduri, the new Collector of Thhothukudi, told newsmen that his first priority was to restore normalcy.
 
Meanwhile, a day after the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court stayed the expansion of the Sterlite plant and directed the Vedanta Group to cease construction of its second unit in Thoothukudi, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) ordered the closure of the plant with immediate effect and disconnected power supply to it for non-compliance of certain conditions imposed on it.
 
IANS
 
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IPL: Chennai edge out Hyderabad in thriller to enter final

A fighting unbeaten half-century under pressure from Faf du Plessis helped Chennai Super Kings edge past Sunrisers Hyderabad by two wickets in the first qualifier here on Tuesday to enter the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
 
Needing 140 runs to win, Chennai made heavy weather of what should have been a comfortable chase before crossing the line with five balls to spare.
 
Chennai have reached the final seven times in the nine seasons they have competed in the IPL. They had missed out on the previous two seasons as they were banned following the spot fixing and betting scandal.
 
Du Plessis batted through the innings to remain not out on 67 runs, with five hits to the fence and four sixes studding his 42-ball knock. The opener kept on playing sensibly throughout even as no other batman clicked at the other end. 
 
For Hyderabad, spinner Rashid Khan, Siddarth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma scalped two wickets each. 
 
Hyderabad will now face the winner of the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals in the Qualifier 2 on May 25 in Kolkata.
 
Chasing a modest total, Chennai lost their first wicket on the fifth ball of the first over. Wicket-keeper Shreevats Goswami took a brilliant catch to dismiss opener Shane Watson (0) off pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
 
In-form Suresh Raina was playing beautifully, hitting four well-timed boundaries on his way to 22 off 13 balls. But he was bowled by pacer Kaul in the fourth over when he shuffled across and exposed his leg-stump.
 
Off the very next ball, Ambati Rayudu (0) was also clean bowled by Kaul. Rayudu's dismissal was largely due to poor shot selection as he misjudged a slow yorker only to see the ball crash into the base of middle and off-stump.
 
Unperturbed by the fall of wickets, du Plessis kept on playing sensibly. New batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni (9), then joined in the middle and the duo rotated the strike perfectly.
 
But just when the duo started timing the ball well, leg-spinner Rashid Khan delivered one that turned the wrong way to dismiss Dhoni.
 
With Chennai struggling at 39/4 after eight overs, all eyes were on the lower-middle order But it failed as Dwayne Bravo (7), Ravindra Jadeja (3) and Deepak Chahar (10) went back to the pavilion in quick succession.
 
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Du Plesis, on the other hand, started unleashing his shots and hammered a few sixes but lacked support from other batters 
 
Harbhajan Singh could only manage two runs off nine balls before being run out. With Chennai in deep trouble, Shardul Thakur gave some much needed impetus to the run rate with three boundaries off the five balls he faced.
 
Thakur, who remained unbeaten on 15 runs, played sensibly and gave the strike to du Plesis.
 
With Chennai needing six runs off the last over, du Plessis brought up the victory in style over the umpire's head off Bhuvneshwar Kumar's bowling.
 
Earlier, lower-order batsman Carlos Brathwaite's unbeaten 43-run knock and some useful contributions from skipper Kane Williamson and Yusuf Pathan helped Sunrisers Hyderabad post a modest total of 139/7 in their allotted 20 overs.
 
Put in to bat, Hyderabad started the proceeding on a poor note, losing opener Shikhar Dhawan (0) on the first ball.
 
Other batsmen Goswami (12), Manish Pandey (8) and Shakib Al Hasan (12) also failed to deliver when needed the most. Brathwaite then came in the middle and played a quick-fire knock and took his team out of troubled waters. He played 29 balls and one boundary and slammed four sixes.
 
For Chennai, Dwayne Bravo scalped two wickets.
 
Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad: 139/7 in 20 overs (Carlos Brathwaite 43 not out; Dwayne Bravo 2/25) against Chennai Super Kings: 140/8 in 19.1 overs (Du Plesis 67; Rashid Khan 2/12)
 
IANS
 
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IPL: Chennai in final; beat Hyderabad by two wickets in Qualifier 1

An under-pressure innings from Faf du Plesis (67 not out) helped Chennai Super Kings edge past Sunrisers Hyderabad by two wickets in the first qualifier to enter the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) match here on Tuesday.
 
Needing 140 runs to win, Chennai chased down the target with five balls to spare.
 
Du Plesis kept on playing sensibly throughout when no other batman clicked and went back cheaply. He played 42 balls and slammed five boundaries and four sixes.
 
Hyderabad will now face the winner of the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2 on May 25 at Kolkata.
 
Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad: 139/7 in 20 overs (Carlos Brathwaite 43 not out; Dwayne Bravo 2/25) against Chennai Super Kings: 140/8 in 19.1 overs (Du Plesis 67; Rashid Khan 2/12).
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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IPL play-offs: Chennai to field vs Hyderabad

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Chennai Super Kings won the toss and elected to field against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first qualifier match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Tuesday.
 
Chennai made only one change to their squad. Shane Watson came in for Sam Billings. Hyderabad, on the other hand, are playing with the same squad.
 
Teams:
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan, Shreevats Goswami(w), Kane Williamson(c), Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Carlos Brathwaite, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma.
 
Chennai Super Kings: Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
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