Politics

10 interesting things about O Panneerselvam

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Panneerselvam
O Panneerselvam stepped down as Tamil Nadu chief minister for the third time on February 5, two months after he had taken oath after former chief minister J Jayalalithaa died of a cardiac arrest, to make way for Sasikala Natarajan.

But this time, he decided to fight for his deserved position in AIADMK because Chinnamma was no Amma. On Tuesday night, he alleged that he was forced to resign to make way for Sasikala Natarajan, making politics in the state volatile.

Panneerselvam made it clear that he would resist Sasikala’s move to become the chief minister and the fight between the two trusted persons of Jayalalithaa began.

Responding quickly, Sasikala expelled Panneerselvam from the post of treasurer of AIADMK.

As both the leaders fight it out over leadership of the ruling party, here are 10 interesting things you may like to know about Panneerselvam.

1.Born in Periyakulam in Tamil Nadu, 65-year-old Panneerselvam became a political worker of the DMK at the age of 18 when he was still in the collage. He studied up to Class 12.

After working at the ground level during elections, he gradually worked his way up in the party.

2. In 1973, he joined AIADMK soon after former Tamil Nadu chief minister MG Ramachandran formed it after moving away from Karunanidhi headed DMK.

3. In 1996, Panneerselvam was elected as the chairman of Pariyakulam. Five year later, he became MLA of Pariyakulam assembly constituency. As a stunch Jayalalithaa loyalist, the first time MLA became the revenue minister of Tamil Nadu.

4. Panneerselvam became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu for the first time on September 21 2001 after the Supreme Court barred Jayalalithaa from holding CM’s office following her conviction in TANSI land scam.

He was widely criticised for being a “puppet” chief minister controlled by his mentor.

5. He however vacated the chair for her on March 1 2002 after the Apex court overturned her conviction and rejoined her cabinet as the minister for public works, prohibition and excise.

6. After AIADMK lost the elections to DMK in 2006, Panneerselvam functioned as the leader of AIADMK legislative party and leader of Opposition in the assembly for a fortnight as Jayalalalitha had decided not to attend the assembly.

7. However, he handed over the charges to her after she decided to attend the assembly.

8. In 2011 after AIADMK returned to power, he joined Jayalalithaa’s cabinet as finance minister. She made him the chief minister for the second time on September 29 2014 after she was convicted in a disproportionate assets case.

9. He again returned “her chair” on May 22 2015 after she was acquitted in the case. He again held finance along with public works department portfolios in her cabinet.

10. In the assembly elections in 2016 Jayalalitha returned to power as chief minister for sixth time and again made Panneerselvan finance minister.

But he was made the chief minister for the third time after her death on December 6 2016. He resigned on February 5 “under pressure” from Sasikala.

Big Wire

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