Jayalalithaa thanks Stalin for attending her swearing-in ceremony, says 'no intent to disrespect him or DMK'

Jayalalithaa took oath as CM of Tamil Nadu for the sixth time on Monday.

Jayalalithaa thanks Stalin for attending her swearing-in ceremony, says 'no intent to disrespect him or DMK'

Chennai: A day after Jayalalithaa took oath as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK supremo thanked DMK treasurer MK Stalin for attending her swearing-in ceremony.

She also said that she looked forward to working with his party for development in the state.

At the same time, she clarified that there was no intention to show disrespect to Stalin or his party.

A controversy had broken out yesterday on Stalin being allotted a back-row seat at the venue of Jayalalithaa's swearing-in ceremony.

DMK president Karunanidhi had alleged yesterday that his party was 'insulted' at the ceremony and had complained about the seating arrangement made for his son.

He had said that Stalin was made to sit 'among the crowd' even as a losing candidate and AIADMK ally, R Sarath Kumar, was allotted seat in the front row.

"Stalin, who has the qualification to sit in the Main Opposition (possibly as its Leader) after (DMK) won 89 seats, was given seat among the crowd whereas Sarath Kumar was seated in the front row," Karunanidhi had said in a statement.

DMK was "insulted" in a planned manner, Karunanidhi had added.

Stalin, attired in a white shirt and dhoti, was spotted seated in the 16th row at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium.

Former DMK Ministers EV Velu and Ponmudy besides their party MLAs Sekhar Babu, Vagai Chandrasekhar and Ku Ka Selvam were also seated near him.

However, today Jayalalithaa said in a statement, "I am happy to note that Thiru MK Stalin, MLA, attended the swearing-in ceremony of the new council of ministers. I thank him for attending the event," as per PTI.

She said Stalin was seated in the block of seats intended for Members of the Legislative Assembly.

"I am informed that the Public Department had followed the protocol manual in allocating seats in the hall for the event," she said, adding, "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."

"Had the officers brought to my notice that Thiru MK Stalin would be attending the event, I would have instructed the officers in charge of the arrangements to provide him a seat in the first row, relaxing the norms in the protocol manual," she further said.

Conveying Stalin her good wishes, she said she looked forward to "working with his party (DMK) for the betterment of the state."

AIADMK and DMK leaders meeting each other in public functions or exchanging pleasantries are very rare and in this context Jayalalithaa's reaction is seen as important.

Jayalalithaa, who bucked a 32-year trend to storm back to power for a second consecutive term, yesterday took oath as CM of Tamil Nadu for the sixth time.

(With PTI inputs)

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