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Target liquor shops at start of sixth stint

Jayalalithaa took charge as Tamil Nadu chief minister on Monday after a 30-minute swearing-in that marked what was technically her sixth stint in power, four after election victories and two after court battles.

The AIADMK chief (at the swearing-in in PTI picture) later drove down to the secretariat to sign orders that reduced the working hours of state-run liquor shops by two hours and shut 500 of the state's 6,200 outlets, fulfilling her pre-poll promise of a phased ban on alcohol.

She also wrote off crop loans of farmers and ordered free supply of the first 100 units of domestic power and 8gm of bridal gold, among other measures. Earlier, Jayalalithaa had to quit twice as chief minister following her conviction in corruption cases but resumed charge each time after being acquitted by higher courts.

Jayalalithaa's 28-member cabinet has 13 new faces, including three women. Among those present at the swearing-in was Union minister Venkaiah Naidu. Jayalalithaa had personally invited Narendra Modi but as the Prime Minister was abroad he had asked Naidu to attend the ceremony.


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