Jayalalithaa-loyalist Panneerselvam elected as new Tamil Nadu chief minister
CHENNAI: Jayalalithaa-loyalist and Tamil Nadu Finance
Minister O Panneerselvam was on Sunday chosen to be the next Chief Minister
after the AIADMK supremo was convicted and sent to jail for four years in a
63-year-old Panneerselvam, who was chosen by J
Jayalalithaa to fill her shoes in a similar situation in 2001, was unanimously
elected as leader of AIADMK Legislature Party here, a day after her conviction
and sentencing in the Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case.
Ruling AIADMK lawmakers unanimously elected
Panneerselvam as the legislature party leader at a meeting, party sources said.
Described as 'Mr Faithful', Panneerselvam belongs to the dominant Mudukulathor
community and is a trusted lieutenant of Jayalalithaa.
The ruling party MLAs will meet Governor K Rosaiah to
communicate him the decision, party sources said here. The name of
Panneerselvam was understood to have communicated by Jayalalithaa in the court
itself after the verdict was pronounced on Saturday. She also had a long
conversation with him in the court before she was lodged in Bangalore jail.
Panneerselvam was handpicked by Jayalalithaa in 2001
when Supreme Court struck down her appointment as Chief Minister by the then
Governor Fathima Beevi following her conviction in TANSI land case.
The soft spoken and suave leader literally functioned
as "interim-Chief Minister" for about six months and duly vacated the
post after Jayalalithaa was acquitted in the case.
Panneerselvam, who had been camping in Bangalore since
Saturday when Jayalalithaa travelled there for the verdict in the
disproportionate asset case, returned to the city on Sunday to take up the new
responsibility as per her direction.