Indian Tamil leader returns as chief state minister

The head of India's largest Tamil party back in power after being cleared of corruption charges

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Jayalalithaa Jayaram has returned as chief minister of the Indian southern state of Tamil Nadu after an appeal court overturned her graft conviction nearly two weeks ago.

One of India's influential politicians and a former film star, Jayalalithaa was jailed and forced to stand down last year. She was found guilty of amassing unaccounted cash and property while in office, but her supporters argued the charge was politically motivated.

The oath was taken in Tamil by Jayalalithaa and 28 other ministers, as her supporters cheered and celebrated outside.

Her All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party, which holds the third largest number of seats in India's lower house of parliament, hailed the event as a turning point for the state, Reuters reported.

Jayalalithaa, who has earned loyalty from voters with populist projects and freebies, will be able to run in an election next year.

She is also regarded as being close to current Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

TRTWorld and agencies