Shortly after the death of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, finance minister O Panneerselvam was sworn in as the new CM at around 1:15 am on Tuesday. All the party MLAs arrived at the Raj Bhavan and OPS was sworn in by the governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.
As a Chief Minister, this was his third swearing in. All the 35 members of the outgoing ministry were also sworn in along with him. The decision to choose Panneerselvam as the new CM came after day long discussions.
AIADMK committee chairman E. Madhusoothanan who was flanked by Mr. Panneerselvam, S.P. Velumani, Dindigul C. Sreenivasan, Edappadi K. Palaniswami and P. Thangamani chaired the meeting of the Legislature Party.
He was better known as OPS. This was his third time to swear in as a chief minister. The other two times he was sworn in when Jayalalithaa had to step down as due to corruption charges. Two years ago when a Bangalore court sentenced her jail in a disproportionate assets case, OPS was sworn in for the second time. Eight months later when Jayalalithaa was acquitted she was back to her post and OPS became her second in command.
In September, when Jayalalithaa was hospitalized the governor handed over the eight ministries to Panneerselvam which she personally supervised. He also chaired cabinet meetings.
The oath ceremony took place even as Jayalalithaa’s body was still at the Apollo hospital. Doctors declared she had died at 11:30 pm on 5th December at the age of 68.
Her body was first taken to her Pose Garden residence in Chennai and then to the city’s Rajaji Hall, where it is now kept for people to pay tribute. The state has declared a seven-day mourning and school, colleges will be closed for three days.
Her body is kept in a casket draped in the national flag and lakhs of people are visiting to pay their last respect. Her body will be buried at Chennai’s Marina Beach next to the memorial of former CM and her mentor MG Ramachandran. The funeral will take place at 4:30 pm.