Chennai, Feb 8: O Paneerselvam, a trusted lieutenant and staunch loyalist of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, was a tea-vendor before he joined politics. Following Jayalalithaa’s death, Paneerselvam was appointed as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for the third time. Jayalalithaa breathed her last on December 5 after suffering from a massive cardiac arrest. O Panneerselvam is also a member of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). His first two terms as chief minister was when he replaced Jayalalithaa in the role, after she was forced to resign by the courts while his third term began following Amma’s death.Also Read - 'Babbar Sherni' Kangana Ranaut Breaks Down For Director AL Vijay at Thalaivi Trailer Launch - Watch Viral Video
Earlier, AIADMK MLAs had signed a declaration making Panneerselvam Amma’s successor, when her condition was reported to be “very critical”. O Panneerselvam assumed office in December 6, 2016; he has previously served in the same capacity in 2001-02 and 2014-15. Also Read - Thalaivi Trailer: Kangana Ranaut Portrays Jayalalithaa's Fight Against Patriarchy in a Powerful Story
Here’s all you need to know about O Panneerselvam:
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- O Panneerselvam, popularly known as OPS was a tea-vendor before he joined politics. He belongs to Mudukulathor community and has risen from humble origins. He is married to P. Vijayalakshmi and the couple has three children.
- Panneerselvam was born to Ottakara Thevar and Palaniammal Naachiar on 14 January 1951 in Periyakulam, Tamil Nadu. He studied Bachelor of Arts at Karutharawuthar College in Uthamapalaiyam and earned his living by running a tea stall at his home town Periyakulam which is still being operated by his family.
- 65-year-old Panneerselvam started his political career as a worker of the then united DMK in 1969 at the age of 18. Later, he joined the AIADMK in 1973 after M.G. Ramachandran split from the DMK. He also became the Chairman of Periyakulam Municipality from 1996 to 2001.
- Before Jayalalithaa’s death, Panneerselvam has twice helmed the state after she was convicted in graft cases. As a loyalist, he gave back the reins of power to Jayalalithaa when courts acquitted her in both the cases.
- Panneerselvam was sworn as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu by Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao at the Raj Bhavan shortly after Jayalalithaa’s death on December 5. Before becoming the Chief Minister, Panneerselvam held the portfolios of Finance, Planning, Legislative Assembly, Elections and Passports, Personnel and Administrative Reforms.
- In 2011, Jayalalithaa allocated the major departments of Finance and PWD to Panneerselvam in a further endorsement of her trust. A first-time Minister in 2001 after his election to the Assembly, he was vested with the key Revenue department by Jayalalithaa, indicating her confidence in him.
- After the party lost the assembly elections in May 2006, Panneerselvam was the leader of the AIADMK legislative party. Even when in the Opposition, Panneerselvam was the ‘No.2’, (Deputy Leader of AIADMK Legislature party) from 2001-06.