Chennai: Tamil Nadu’s former finance minister O. Paneerselvam takes oath as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
He was chosen by AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa as her successor after being unseated from the CM’s post after her conviction in the disproportionate assets case in Bengaluru on Saturday, and was formally elected the new leader at a meeting of AIADMK legislators at the party headquarters on Sunday.
A few hours later, at around 6.40 pm, Mr Panneerselvam, along with senior colleagues Natham Viswanathan, R. Vaithilingam and Edappady Palaniswami, met governor K. Rosaiah at the Raj Bhavan to present the letter and resolution passed by AIADMK legislators unanimously electing him as leader.
“The governor has invited him to form the ministry,” a Raj Bhavan release said.
For 63-year-old “OPS”, this will be his second term as chief minister. He is the first tea-seller to become a CM in India, long before Narendra Modi achieved this in Gujarat when Ms Jayalalithaa chose him as a “stopgap” after the Supreme Court made her step down due to her conviction in the Tansi land case in 2001. She returned to the seat after getting acquitted on appeal.
By ensuring he stayed clear of any controversy then and guaranteeing absolute loyalty to her, he became a natural choice as a safe successor now.
“OPS” was number two in Jayalalithaa’s Cabinet and her finance minister. He is likely to retain his earlier portfolios in addition to prominent ones, like police and general administration, that were being handled by her.