The ongoing political turmoil in Tamil Nadu threw up another name for the post of chief minister on Tuesday when the Supreme Court convicted AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala in a disproportionate assets case.
With this, the bitter power struggle between caretaker CM O Panneerselvam and Sasikala took another turn when AIADMK MLAs from her camp elected Palanisamy as the new legislature party leader, a move that can result in his elevation as the chief minister.
Sasikala sent a letter to the Tamil Nadu governor stating that Palaniswami has been elected as the AIADMK's legislature party leader and he should be invited to form the government in the state.
From an ordinary party member to the leader of AIADMK legislature party, Edappadi K Palaniswami has come a long way.
Here are the highlights of Palanisamy political career:
# Palanisamy is currently the state minister for ports and highways. He belongs to the influential Gounder community
# He was an unwavering loyalist of late Jayalalithaa, and chose to side with VK Sasikala after O Panneerselvam revolted against the interim general secretary
# Palaniswami, a Sasikala loyalist, had publically asked her to become chief minister after Jayalalithaa's demise
# He is a three-time MLA from Edappadi in the Kongu region of Tamil Nadu
# A Science graduate, he swore allegiance to Jayalalithaa when AIADMK split into two factions, one led by her and the other by party founder MG Ramachandran's wife Janaki, after MGR's death in 1987.
# In 1989, 1991, 2011 and 2016 assembly polls, Palanisamy won from Edappadi constituency. When AIADMK was routed in the 1996 assembly polls, he too lost from Edapadi. Similarly, he was defeated in the 2001, 2006 assembly polls and the 1999 and 2004 parliamentary polls.
# His clout in AIADMK saw a dramatic rise when it won 10 of 11 assembly segments in Salem district in the 2016 polls. Acknowledging his contributions, he was given the key portfolio of public works, besides highways and minor ports, which he had already been holding.
# Palanisamy has held various party posts including propaganda secretary, organisation secretary, and disciplinary committee member. Currently, he is the party headquarters secretary and Salem Rural District party secretary.
With inputs from PTI