Chennai, Feb 16 (PTI): Edappadi K Palaniswami, a V K Sasikala loyalist, was today sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, ending the 10-day political uncertainty in the state which began with caretaker CM O Panneerselvam's revolt against the AIADMK general secretary.
Palaniswami is the third person to occupy the top post in the last nine months. Governor C Vidyasagar Rao administered the oath of office and secrecy to 63-year-old Palaniswami, a party veteran from western Tamil Nadu, at the head of a 31-member Cabinet at a ceremony in the Raj Bhavan this evening. The ministers were sworn-in in batches.
Palaniswami is the third AIADMK leader to be sworn-in as Chief Minister in the last nine months. AIDMK supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had powered the party to a rare successive term in office in the state in the May, 2016 Assembly Polls. She continued in the post through her grim 74-day battle for life.
Within hours of her death on December 5, Panneerselvam, who had filled in for Jayalalithaa twice in the past when she had to go to jail in corruption cases, was sworn-in as Chief Minister.
Panneerselvam later stepped down, paving the way for Sasikala, who was already chosen AIADMK general secretary, to be elected its legislature party leader on February five.
However, the usually reticent Man Friday of Jayalalithaa rose in rebellion against Sasikala two days later, claiming he was coerced into resigning. He even expressed willingness to become Chief Minister again if the people of Tamil Nadu and AIADMK workers so desired.
His belligerence plunged the state into a political crisis. Amid the face off with Panneerselvam, Sasikala met Governor Rao on February 9 and staked claim to form the government. Notwithstanding criticism from several quarters, Rao preferred to wait and watch as the political tug-of-war played out between the rival AIADMK factions.
He stood vindicated when Sasikala and two members of her family were convicted and their sentences restored by the Supreme Court in a disproportionate assets case on February 14, rendering her ineligible for contesting elections for 10 years and dashing her hopes of becoming the Chief Minister.
Sasikala then handpicked her loyalist Palaniswami, who was elected AIADMK legislature party leader, and staked claim to form the government on Tuesday.
Palaniswami was invited by the Governor today to form the government after he submitted a list of 124 MLAs supporting him last night. He has 15 days to prove his majority in the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly.
Palaniswami to retain finance in 31-member ministry
Chennai, Feb 16 (IANS): Tamil Nadu's Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami will head a 31-member ministry.
Palaniswami has retained the crucial finance portfolio with himself. He also retained the portfolios of Public Works, Highways and Minor Ports that he had held in the earlier O. Panneerselvam ministry.
In a statement issued here, the Raj Bhavan said Palaniswami will look after Public, Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, Indian Forest Service, General Administration, District Revenue Officers, Police and Home, Finance Planning, Legislative Assembly Elections and Passports, Personnel and Administrative Reforms Personnel and Administrative Reforms (Training), Public Works, Irrigation including Minor Irrigation, Programme Works, Highways and Minor Ports.
Senior party leaders C. Sreenivasan and K.A. Sengottaiyan have been designated as Minister for Forests and Minister for School Education and Sports and Youth Welfare.
P. Thangamani is designated as Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise.
Palanisamy to be new Tamil Nadu CM
Chennai, Feb 16 (IANS): E. Palanisamy, AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala's backer, was on Thursday invited by Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao to take oath as the new Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.
The Governor told the minister, who was earlier elected leader of the AIADMK legislature party after Sasikala's legal troubles, to take oath on Thursday evening, the Raj Bhavan said.
Palanisamy will have to prove his majority in the assembly within 15 days, the Governor's office said.
The decision was conveyed to Palanisamy when he called on the Governor earlier in the day.
The news triggered wild celebrations at a resort near here where AIADMK MLAs backing the now jailed Sasikala are holed up.
Palanisamy's supporters claimed on Wednesday night that he had the backing of 124 of the 135 party legislators as opposed to acting Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam.
AIADMK sources said Panneerselvam, who had wanted to remain the Chief Minister, went into a huddle with his supporters after the Governor told Palanisamy to take oath.