CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah on Sunday invited AIADMK treasurer O Panneerselvam to form the next ministry in the State. The invitation followed the meeting of Panneerselvam and three of his senior colleagues — R Viswanathan, R Vaithilingam and K Palanisamy with the governor at Raj Bhavan here.
Panneerselvam on Sunday evening handed over the letter staking his claim to form the next government in the State to the governor. He also handed over the resolution adopted at the AIADMK Legislature Party meeting, unanimously electing him as its leader. Sources said the Council of Ministers headed by J Jayalalithaa is likely to be retained except shuffling of some portfolios and the swearing in of the new ministry is expected on Monday. Earlier in the day, Panneerselvam, Viswanathan, Vaithilingam and Palanisamy called on AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa in the Bangalore prison and held discussions and later returned to Chennai.
Meanwhile, the AIADMK headquarters at Lloyds Road here was overflowing with party cadre and functionaries. Starting from 3 pm, MLAs started visiting the headquarters. Emotional scenes were witnessed there as cadre were seen crying. Panneerselvam arrived at 3.25 pm. At the first floor of the headquarters where the meeting of the AIADMK Legislature Party was held, MLAs were seen discussing among themselves. When Panneerselvam spoke a few words at the meeting, almost everyone in the hall turned emotional and started crying.
Later, Panneerselvam went to the Poes Garden residence of Jayalalithaa and held discussions with senior colleagues. At 6.05 pm, he left Poes Garden along with senior colleagues to meet the governor.
Panneerselvam (63) was appointed as CM in September 2001 after the SC annulled the appointment of Jayalalithaa as the CM following her conviction in the TANSI land deal case. However, after she was acquitted by the Madras HC, she returned as CM in March 2002.
Panneerselvam was born in Periyakulam in Theni district and currently represents the Bodinaickanur. In 1996, he was elected chairman of Periyakulam municipality and was elected to the State Assembly in 2001. In 2006, he was elected from Periyakulam and was made Dy Leader of Opposition. He had held many portfolios including Finance.