ALSO READNo threat to AIADMK or government: Minister AIADMK MLAs advised to maintain 'decorum' during Assembly AIADMK government will be in power for 2-3 months maximum: Dinakaran Dinakaran faction releases video of Jayalalithaa in hospital Panneerselvam appointed Leader of the House in TN Assembly
Reminiscent of times when AIADMK MLAs thumped desks whenever Jayalalithaa was hailed in Tamil Nadu assembly, the session's start this year saw treasury benches cheer vociferously each time Governor Banwarilal Purohit named Chief Minister K Palaniswami's name in his maiden address.
It was usual for ruling party members to thump the benches when the name of Jayalalithaa was mentioned but the maiden address by Purohit to the House saw loud applause whenever there was a reference to Palaniswami by the Governor.
Purohit's address came amidst an opposition boycott, besides 18 vacancies caused due to disqualification of that many AIADMK MLAs owing allegiance to sidelined party leader T T V Dhinakaran.
Though an opposition boycott of the Governor's address has not been rare in the assembly over the past few years, the absence of the 18 MLAs is something the 234-member House has hardly been witness to in the recent past.
Speaker P Dhanapal had disqualified the MLAs last year after they informed the then Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao that they had lost confidence in Palaniswami, a day after he merged his led faction with that of then rebel leader and now Deputy Chief Minister, O Panneerselvam.
The Governor's Tamil skills also came to the fore as he spoke in the language to request Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin to be seated and later extended his Pongal greetings to the members in Tamil.
Soon after he arrived, Purohit greeted all members of the House with 'Vanakkam' and began his address.
Even as he began his speech, Stalin (DMK) was on his feet trying to raise some issues.
A little later, Stalin led his party members and staged a walkout, followed by his party's allies, Congress and IUML.
Later, after completing his address, the Governor greeted the members on Pongal, the Tamil harvest festival, being celebrated on January 14.
The Treasury benches and Dhinakaran, who won the December 21 RK Nagar bypoll as an indpendent against AIADMK's E Madhusudhanan by 40,000 votes, besides the lone appointed member, were present when Purohit completed his address.
Purohit, hailing from Maharahstra, had earlier appointed a Tamil instructor to learn the language, after taking over in November.