O Pannerselvam was unanimously elected as the leader of the AIADMK Legislature Party and was to be sworn-in.
Chennai: Finance Minister O Pannerselvam, a trusted lieutenant of J Jayalalithaa who passed away on Monday, was unanimously elected as the leader of the AIADMK Legislature Party and sworn-in as Tamil Nadu CM.
The election of Mr Pannerselvam, who was personally chosen by Ms Jayalalithaa to lead the state when she had to quit due to court cases against her in 2001 and 2014, came at around 12 am after the legislature party meeting that was originally scheduled for 6 pm was postponed twice.
The AIADMK MLAs are understood to have elected the Finance Minister to succeed Ms Jayalalithaa, who passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest, without any election. Sources said the election of Mr Pannerselvam was unanimous since he was the “personal choice” of Amma and her choice will always be respected.
All 136 MLAs of the AIADMK, including Mr Pannerselvam himself, attended the meeting and highly placed sources said there was no decision on the General Secretary of the party, the post that Ms Jayalalithaa held.
Immediately after his election, Mr Pannerselvam rushed to the Raj Bhawan to hand over letter of his election as leader of the AIADMK Legislature Party. Party seniors Edappadi K Palanisamy and P Thangamani flanked him while he met Acting Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao.
The swearing-in was to be held early on Tuesday morning in the presence of senior AIADMK leaders. The Constitution mandates that a new Chief Minister be sworn-in if the incumbent passes away while in power.
The State Government announced 7-day state mourning to condole the death of the Chief Minister and her body will be cremated on Tuesday evening. A grand memorial is expected to come up near the memorial of her mentor M G Ramachandran.