new 'puddu podvai' (sari) with care--a Kanjeevaram in contrasting green and pink that she
had saved for a special occasion.Draped in the colours her
husband loved, she
joined the Union council of ministers today.And as she
took oath as the Minister of State for Home
wished Venkatesa Panniyar had been there to watch her
From giving her
the "best years of her
life" to literally thrusting her
into politics after he
was shot dead in a Chennai encounter in 2003, her
husband has meant the world for the 31-year-old."Sometimes I feel I have everything and sometimes nothing," says the uncertain Selvi, as she
resolves to "figure out" her
ministry in the next couple of weeks.
Perhaps the only person who has observed her
transformation from a "pampered housewife" who didn't know how to cook to a first time MP from Tiruchendur in Tamil Nadu, is her
three-year-old son.Rakshan Achintya never met his
has witnessed his
mother's rise in politics and brightly waves goodbye when she
heads out to attend parliament sessions. She
campaigned with him when he
was 16-days-old."It was very tough," she
recalls, refusing to elaborate on her
decision to fight on a DMK ticket in 2003.
Aware that her
three minute oath-taking ceremony comes in the backdrop of internal politics, Selvi
resolutely refuses to be drawn into it, insisting that she
is just happy to be "up there". Her
father nods approvingly.
father keeps her
abreast with all the news through the day, while Selvi
is busy being politically correct.
Aware that she
is part of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's attempt to consolidate his
party's base among the backward Nadar community, she
refuses to comment on community politics, smiling when the conversation moves to demands that former DMK Rajya Sabha MP and film actor Sarath Kumar be made a Union minister.
But before she
gets to work, she
wants to set the record straight.It's about her
husband Panniyar."They call him a don, which is so unfair," says the content but exhausted Selvi