After the demise of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, O Pannerselvam was sworn in as the 20th CM of the state.
Paneerselvam was a close confidant and loyalist of Jayalalithaa.
Whenever Jaya had faced any health problem, she used to pass on her responsibilities to Paneerselvam.
Pannerselvam had ruled in Jayalalithaa's place when the iconic leader was barred from contesting elections in 2001 and when she was briefly jailed in a disproportionate assets case in 2014.
Tamil Nadu Opposition leader Stalin used to call him de facto CM.
Since the time of MG Ramachandran, Paneerselvam had been a party loyalist and he rose to prominence as a strong associate of Jayalalithaa.
Jayalalithaa had always admired Paneerselvam’s patience because he didn't seem greedy to avail any position within the party.
Whatever responsibilities were provided to him by Jayalalithaa, Paneerselvam had always accepted them with happiness and grace.