Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa made archrival M Karunanidhi's son M K Stalin sit in the 16th row during her swearing-in ceremony on Monday, triggering a strong reaction from the DMK supremo who said it was a planned "insult."
"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 said in a statement, reported the Indian Express.
"Jayalalithaa has not changed, she will never change," NDTV quoted Karunanidhi as saying in a statement.
The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Centenary Auditorium of the sprawling Madras University campus. Among the faces that were inducted as ministers, the most familiar one was that of loyalist O Panneerselvam.
The channel said that the DMK broke the tradition by attending a rival's swearing-in ceremony and paid the price for it. The two parties – Jayalalithaa's AIADMK and Karunidhi's DMK – share an "epic rivalry" that has ensured both the Dravidian parties "boycotting each other's swearing-in ceremonies," the channel added.
In the recently-concluded assembly polls, the AIADMK won 134 seats and broke a 32-year-old jinx by retaining power for a second term. The DMK ended up with 89 seats, while its ally Congress got eight seats. Most of the exit poll surveys – except one – had written Jayalalithaa off.
Attended the swearing in of TN CM today. Hope that she fulfils her election promises and works hard for the people of TN. Wish her the best
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) May 23, 2016