Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O Panneerselvam on Wednesday chaired a cabinet meeting for the first time in absence of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, but with a picture of her placed on his desk. Paneerselvam has been allotted the portfolios that came under Jayalalithaa after she continues to remain in hospital owing to her health condition.
Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo hospital in Chennai on September 22. Since then the hospital has released her health bulletin regularly and said that she has been responding well to the treatment. However, in the last bulletin, the hospital reiterated that Jayalalithaa needed to stay in the hospital for more time to recuperate.
Last week, Tamil Nadu governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao allotted the portfolios to Panneerselvam. A Raj Bhavan release also said that he will also preside upon the cabinet meetings.
There has been an atmosphere of uncertainty in the state with opposition parties demanding a proof in the form of pictures or videos to show that Jayalalithaa was in a healthy condition.
The cabinet is expected to discuss various important issues including the critical Cauvery waters dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which has already caused a lot of chaos in both the states.
A specialist from London besides three-member team of doctors from AIIMS, Delhi, had also examined Jayalalithaa, who is being treated for infection with respiratory support.