Sasikala loyalist is new Tamil Nadu chief

Palanisami was elected AIADMK Legislature Party leader replacing Sasikala, shortly after the Supreme Court convicted her in the disproportionate assets case, dashing her hopes of becoming Chief Minister of the state.

Chennai: Chief Minister "Edappadi" K Palaniswami being presenting a floral bouquet by Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao after he taking the oath as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu during the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Thursday.

Sasikala's conviction is for conspiring not just with her family members but also with the late chief minister. The special court had in 2014 held Jayalalithaa guilty of corruption and sentenced her to four years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore.

Besides Jayalalithaa, Sasikala, and the latter's relatives, V N Sudhakaran and Elavarasi, were also acquitted in the assets case by the Karnataka High Court. The petition filed by an advocate claimed that the chief minister should be chosen only after a floor test in the state assembly.

"Palanaswami is likely to visit the prison on Friday along with his cabinet colleagues to take blessings of Chinnamma (Sasikala) before assuming charge", party's Karnataka unit Secretary V.A. Pugazhendi told reporters here.

"If she has a plan B-projecting somebody else for the post of Chief Minister, she - will not succeed", Palaniswamy said. "Many MLAs will support only Amma's rule and not rule of a family", he said.

The people of Tamil Nadu, as well as AIADMK MLAs and MPs, should shed Sasikala and return to the MGR legacy and now support Panneerselvam so that the party can rule the state and return to power when elections are held. Ms Sasikala will continue to be the party chief.

Meanwhile, the Panneerselvam camp on Thursday moved the Election Commission challenging the election of Sasikala as general secretary of the party, saying she was elevated in violation of the norms. Apparently, Sasikala who appeared in the political field following the suspicious death of Jayalalithaa is eager to take revenge on both Jayalalithaa and CM Panneer Selvam, whom the former picked to be the acting CM instead of Sasikala.

The Supreme Court will decide on Tuesday, January 14, whether V.K. Sasikala - close aide of former chief minister J. Jayalalithaa - can be sworn-in as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu.

The bench said these companies were "operating" from Poes Garden and "it can not be accepted that she (Jayalalithaa) was unaware of the same even though she feigned ignorance about the activities carried on by Sasikala and two others".

His choice as leader of the legislative party looks natural since the idea now was to pit one Jayalalithaa loyalist with another.