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New Tamil Nadu CM Began in Humble Circumstances

Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O Panneerselvam, who was Sunday elected by AIADMK legislators to succeed the jailed J. Jayalalithaa as the state\'s new chief minister, used to run a tea stall, which is now looked after by his relatives.

Published: 28th September 2014 07:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th September 2014 07:28 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O Panneerselvam, who was Sunday elected by AIADMK legislators to succeed the jailed J. Jayalalithaa as the state's new chief minister, used to run a tea stall, which is now looked after by his relatives.

Panneerselvam, 63, representing the Bodinayakanur constituency, is a farmer from Theni district.

OPS, as he is known in the party, maintains a low profile and is a staunch loyalist of Jayalalithaa.

He entered politics in 1996 and became the head of a local body. In 2001, he was elected to the assembly from Periakulam and became the minister for public works department.

Panneerselvam was the first person from the Thevar community to become the chief minister of Tamil Nadu in 2001.

He was also leader of opposition when AIADMK lost power in 2006.

The decision to elevate Panneerselvam was made known after a meeting of the legislators at the party headquarters in the heart of Chennai. A party leader told IANS that Panneerselvam would call on Governor K. Rosiah later.

The development followed a meeting Jayalalithaa had with Panneerselvam and some other senior AIADMK functionaries at the Bangalore Central Jail earlier Sunday.

Panneerselvam had become chief minister in similar circumstances in 2001 for a brief period.

A special court in Bangalore late Saturday sentenced Jayalalithaa to four years in prison and fined her Rs.100 crore for amassing wealth illegally when she was the chief minister in 1991-96.

The swearing in ceremony of the new ministry is expected to take place Monday.

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