Chennai: Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerslevam was today sworn-in as deputy to current incumbent K Palaniswami, hours after the merger of the two AIADMK factions. At a simple ceremony at the Raj Bhavan, Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao administered the oath of office and secrecy to Panneerselvam.
The former chief minister is back in his home turf finance, a portfolio he had held since 2011 when the J Jayalalithaa government was sworn-in. He held it until his resignation as a chief minister in February to make way for jailed AIADMK chief V K Sasikala, who despite being appointed leader of the AIADMK Legislature party did not become the chief minister.
This was following her conviction and subsequent imprisonment at the Bengaluru prison in the disproportionate assets case.
Even when Panneerselvam stepped in for Jayalalithaa as a replacement following her conviction in the assets case in 2014 and even after her death in December 2016, he continued to hold the Finance portfolio. His close aide K Pandiarajan was sworn-in as minister for Tamil official language and Tamil culture.
Since the former chief minister’s rebellion against Sasikala, D Jayakumar had been entrusted with finance, besides fisheries.
Besides finance, Panneerselvam was allocated housing, rural housing and housing development, Slum Clearance Board and Accommodation Control, Town Planning, urban development and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority. Pandiarajan was earlier the School Education minister in late Jayalalithaa cabinet following a reshuffle in August 2016. He had later joined Panneerselvam post the latter’s revolt against Sasikala.
Jayakumar will hold the fisheries portfolio.
Pandiarajan has also been given the portfolio of archaeology, hitherto held by Sevoor S Ramachandran and K A Sengottaiyan, respectively.
Udumalai K Radhakrishnan has been allotted animal husbandry, hitherto held by P Balakrishna Reddy with the latter now being made the Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development, earlier held by Sengottaiyan. Further, Mines and Minerals hitherto held by Industries Minister MC Sampath was allotted to C Ve Shanmugam, who is the law minister.
Panneerselvam was first made the finance minister by Jayalalithaa when the AIADMK came to power in 2011 though he has held other portfolios earlier. He was interim chief minister twice when Jayalalithaa stepped down due to cases against her, and then chief minister following her death on December 5, 2016.