After weeks of protest and debate, the Tamil Nadu cabinet finally met on October 19 with stand-in Chief Minister O Panneerselvam chairing the meeting.
The Tamil Nadu government has been in a turmoil for the past three weeks after CM J Jayalalithaa was hospitalised due to respiratory illness.
With the exact duration of her illness and recovery not known, the state government last week had decided to name Panneerselvam as their stand-in CM till Amma recovered.
Panneerselvam, who is the state’s finance minister, was thus given additional charge of Jayalalithaa’s eight departments and is going to hold all the cabinet meetings in her absence.
The announcement to make Panneerselvam stand-in CM was made by Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, who at that time had said that the changes were made ‘on the advice of the chief minister’.
The state cabinet’s biggest agenda during October 19 meeting was the ‘Cauvery water row’ which has been in the news for past many weeks.
The ‘Cauvery water’ issue is one of Tamil Nadu’s biggest bone of contention with their neighbour Karnataka and debate over its water have been going on for decades.
In the past few days, the opposition has been calling for an all-party meeting on the issue and on October 18 they had even joined farmers in a rail blockade demanding the centre to set up a ‘Cauvery Management Board’.
Jayalalithaa has been in Chennai’s Apolo hospital since September 22 and she had reportedly hand-picked Panneerselvam as her stand-in after she was told by her doctors that she would need to stay in the hospital a little longer.