O Panneerselvam, Jayalalithaa's most trusted minister has taken charge of all portfolios held by the CM as per a Raj Bhavan statement dated October 11. He has been assigned Jayalalithaa's eight portfolios and will also preside over Cabinet meetings.
Currently elected from the constituency of Bodinayakkanur, O. Panneerselvam was born to Ottakkara Thevar & Palaniammal Naachiar on 14 January 1951 in Periyakulam, Tamil Nadu. He had started as tea stall owner and comes from a humble background.
O Panneerselvam was the first CM of Tamil Nadu who belonged to the Thevar community, which is one of the largest and loyal vote banks of the AIADMK.
He started his political career by becoming the chairman of Periyakulam Municipality in 1996 and fulfilled his responsibilities till 2001. It was in 2001 that he contested as an AIADMK candidate from the Periyakulam Assembly constituency and won.
O Panneerselvam was the leader of the AIADMK legislative party and the Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly for about two weeks in 2006. In that election, he was elected to be the member of Tamil Nadu legislative assembly from Periyakulam.
In 2011, he contested as an AIADMK candidate from the Bodinayakkanur Assembly constituency and won. Again, he became the Finance Minister in Jayalalithaa's government.
A staunch ‘Amma’ loyalist, he became the Revenue Minister in her government and held the office from 19 May 2001 to 1 September 2001. It was during this time that Jayalalithaa was barred by the Supreme Court from holding the CM’s office as she was convicted in the TANSI land scam.
She chose O Panneerselvam to hold the Chief Minister’s office. The tenure lasted for six months, from 21 September 2001 to 1 March 2002. During the 2014 stint as stand-in CM, Panneerselvam refused to use Jayalalithaa's office or the seat assigned to the chief minister in the state legislature while she was in jail.
He was again entrusted with the responsibility of being the 17th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 29 September 2014 when Jayalalithaa was convicted in the disproportionate assets case.