Team Sasikala Takes Charge Of Tamil Nadu, Trust Vote On Saturday: 10 Points

Edappadi Palaniswami took oath as the new Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.

Highlights

  • Sasikala's choice Palaniswami sworn in as Tamil Nadu's Chief Minister
  • He will face trust vote to prove majority on Saturday
  • Palaniswami has to prove he has support of at least 117 lawmakers
Chennai: AIADMK's Edappadi Palaniswami, party chief VK Sasikala's proxy, will seek a vote of confidence on Saturday to prove he has majority support in the Tamil Nadu legislature, at a special session called by the state's Governor C Vidyasagar Rao. Mr Palaniswami took oath as Chief Minister earlier this evening along with a 31-member cabinet. Mr Palaniswami is the state's third Chief Minister in three months. An old-time loyalist of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, he replaces O Panneerselvam, whose portfolios have been allotted to other ministers. Mr Panneerselvam whose bid to be Chief Minister was rejected, has said his "battle will continue." Later in the evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "Spoke to Thiru Edappadi K. Palaniswami & congratulated him on taking over as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu."

Here are the 10 developments in this big story:

  1. Mr Palaniswami has retained most ministers from Mr Panneerselvam's cabinet. The Chief Minister will have charge of the Home and Finance, Public Works, Highways and Minor Ports Ministries, which he managed as a minister in the cabinets of Ms Jayalalithaa and Mr Panneerselvam.

  2. On Saturday, Edappadi Palaniswami, 63, will have to prove on the floor of the 234 strong state assembly that he has the support of 117 MLAs or more.

  3. Mr Palaniswami has said he has the support of 124 of the AIADMK's 134 legislators or MLAs. After his appointment K Pandiarajan, one of the lawmakers who had left the Sasikala camp and joined Mr Panneerselvam last week, talked about a homecoming, saying, "There should be no disintegration of the party...it was Amma (Jayalalithaa's) wish that the party should stay united."

  4. At a five-star resort 80 km from Chennai, where most party MLAs were sequestered by Ms Sasikala for nine days, the legislators celebrated with payassam, a sweet dessert, before finally leaving for the state capital.  

  5. "We are happy, justice has been done. Jayalalithaa's legacy will now continue," said senior party leader M Thambidurai, adding that unlike the plan for Ms Sasikala to be both party chief and Chief Minister, Mr Palaniswami will only be Chief Minister.

  6. Ms Sasikala, who was jailed in Bengaluru on Wednesday to serve four years for corruption, putting an end to her bid for Chief Minister, will continue to be the party's General Secretary, Mr Thambidurai said.

  7. Mr Panneerselvam, who too had staked claim to the top post but could not gather enough support within the party, has said the "is anguished that power is now with those responsible for Jayalalithaa's death."

  8. As Mr Palaniswami was sworn in, the AIADMK's new Deputy General Secretary and Ms Sasikala's nephew TTV Dinakaran watched from the front row. His appointment was one of the swift decisions Ms Sasikala made before she left Chennai to ensure she keeps control of the party and government from jail. In another, Ms Sasikala chose Mr Palaniswami, deeply loyal to her, to be Chief Minister.

  9. Mr Dinakaran has been welcomed by party leaders despite the fact that he was expelled in 2011 by J Jayalalithaa, the AIADMK's powerful matriarch who died in December last year as Chief Minister, leaving a huge void at the head of both the party and the government.   

  10. Mr Panneerselvam had taken oath as Chief Minister hours after Ms Jayalalithaa died. He has alleged that he was forced to resign last week to facilitate Ms Sasikala's take over. Public opinion distinctly tilted towards OPS versus Ms Sasikala.