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Panneerselvam is the New Tamil Nadu CM. Here's Why He is the Natural Choice

File photo of Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

File photo of Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

The task of steering the Tamil Nadu government and the AIADMK out of the leadership void created by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s death is likely to rest with senior party leader O Panneerselvam. Panneerselvam ruled in Jayalalithaa’s stead when the iconic leader was barred from contesting elections in 2001 and when she was jailed briefly in a disproportionate assets case in 2014. Symbolically, he had refused to sit in the CM’s chair.

The task of steering the Tamil Nadu government and the AIADMK out of the leadership void created by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s death now rests with senior party leader O Panneerselvam.

Panneerselvam ruled in Jayalalithaa’s stead when the iconic leader was barred from contesting elections in 2001 and when she was jailed briefly in a disproportionate assets case in 2014. Symbolically, he had refused to sit in the CM’s chair.

Here’s a look at Panneerselvam’s long association with Jayalalithaa and the AIADMK, which makes him the natural choice to succeed Amma:

*Panneerselvam entered politics in 1996 and became the chairperson of Periyakulam municipality in Theni district

*He is AIADMK’s most powerful leader after party supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa

*Contested Assembly elections for the first time in 2001 from Periyakulam and became the PWD minister after winning

*Is a prominent Thevar community face in the party

Also Read: Live: With Jayalalithaa's Photo in Pocket, Panneerselvam Takes Oath as New CM

*Has prior experience of serving as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister — in 2001-02 and in September 2014

*He has been a minister in every AIADMK regime since 2001, holding the Finance and other important portfolios like Public Works and Prohibition and Excise.

Also Read: Jayalalithaa Remembered on Twitter, Celebs and Politicians Pay Tribute

*Has also served as the leader of the AIADMK legislative party and the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly briefly, after the party lost the assembly elections in May 2006

*Is a mild-mannered politician and understood the many moods of Amma


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