O Panneerselvam announced that he has submitted his resignation as Chief Minister.

Its official AIADMK general secretary Sasikala will now be the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
news Politics Sunday, February 05, 2017 - 14:57
While the announcement seemed inevitable since the very day after former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s death, the party decided to declare her the leader of the state at a meeting of its legislators on Sunday.

A meeting of AIADMK MLAs was called on Sunday. Current Chief Minister O Panneerselvam submitted his resignation to Sasikala. The Legislature Party then elected Sasikala as its leader.

Announcing his resignation, O Panneerselvam told media persons: "I resign as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The AIADMK Legislature Party has elected Sasikala as the leader of the Legislature Party. The party welcomes the decision."

Sasikala is likely to swear in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, February 7.

Intimations of this development came a few days earlier, when three top bureaucrats, who were close advisers of Jayalalithaa, were shown the door. 

Sasikala has been an aide of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for 30 years. She lived in Jayalalithaa’s shadow for decades, and is considered one of her closest associates. 

While she has never held a public office before the death of Jayalalithaa, her family - the Mannargudi clan - has held significant influence in Tamil Nadu politics for several years. 

Sasikala’s ascension to power comes even as many voices within and outside AIADMK have questioned her credibility. The opposition has questioned the ruling party for unceremoniously dumping O Panneerselvam - who was the choice of late CM Jayalalithaa to take over as temporary CM when following her arrest in the disproportionate assets case.

An AIADMK member and former MP, KC Palaniswamy has also spoken out against Sasikala, writing to the EC to conduct elections for the post of party general secretary again. 

Late on Friday night, news emerged that the Tamil Nadu government had asked several senior bureaucrats - considered close to Jayalalithaa - to tender their resignations. The bureaucrats, including Sheela Balakrishnan, KN Venkataramanan and Shanta Sheela Nair were considered to have moved into the OPS camp after Jayalalithaa’s death.

This move was seen by many as power play by Sasikala, ahead of becoming the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
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