Expressing her happiness at DMK treasurer M.K.Stalin attending her swearing-in ceremony and thanking him, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa said the seating was per protocol and there was no intent to show disrespect to him or his party.
In a statement issued here, Jayalalithaa said: “I am informed that the Public department had followed the protocol manual in allocating seats in the hall for the event.
“If this seating plan caused him any discomfiture, I would like to assure him that there was no intent to show disrespect to him or his party.”
She said had the officers brought to her notice that Stalin would be attending the event, then instructions would have been given to the officers to provide him a seat in the first row, relaxing the norms.
“I convey my good wishes to him and look forward to working with his party for the betterment of the state,” she added.
On Monday soon after Jayalalithaa and her council of ministers were sworn-in, DMK president M.Karunanidhi complained that the ruling AIADMK had insulted his party by relegating Stalin to the back rows.
Karunanidhi said that the DMK, by winning 89 seats in the elections will be the principal opposition party in the assembly and Stalin would be on the front rows in the house, but at the ceremony, R.Sarathkumar, of AIADMK ally All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi but had lost in the elections, was seated in the front row, and Stalin and other DMK leaders alloted seat in the tenth row.
Governor K.Rosaiah administered oath of office and secretary to Jayalalithaa and her 28 ministers at a function held at the Madras University’s Centenary Hall.