Team Sasikala Takes Charge Of Tamil Nadu With 31 Ministers: 10 Points
Tamil Nadu | Reported by J Sam Daniel Stalin, Edited by Shuchi Shukla
| Updated: February 16, 2017 16:42 IST

CHENNAI:  AIADMK's Edappadi Palaniswami, party chief VK Sasikala's
proxy, took oath as the next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. A 31-member
cabinet is also being sworn-in along with him by Governor C Vidyasagar
Rao at Chennai's Raj Bhavan. Mr Palaniswami will be the state's third
in the last three months replacing O Panneerselvam, whose portfolios
have been allotted to other leaders. The new chief minister has been
given 15 days by the Governor to prove he has majority support in the
state legislature. Governor Rao had heard competing pitches on
Wednesday night from Mr Palaniswami and acting chief minister O
Panneerselvam for the top post.

Here are the 10 developments in this big story:

Mr Palaniswami, 63, has reportedly told the Governor that he is ready
for a vote of confidence in the state assembly immediately. He will
have to prove that he has the support of 117 MLAs or more in the
legislature, the current strength of which is 234.

Mr Palaniswami has said he has the support of 124 of the AIADMK's 134
legislators or MLAs. At a five-star resort where they were sequestered
by Ms Sasikala for nine days, the legislators celebrated the
Governor's announcement with payassam - a sweet dessert. They have now
exited the resort.

"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.

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

O Panneerselvam, who too had staked claim to the top post but could
not gather enough support within the party, has said his "battle will
continue." The public, he said, "is anguished that power is now with
those responsible for Jayalalithaa's death.

Senior member of parliament Dr V Maitreyan from the Panneerselvam camp
is meeting the Election Commission in Delhi this afternoon to
challenge Ms Sasikala's appointment as interim general secretary. Team
OPS says she was elected by the AIADMK general council - an elite body
- not primary members, which, according to them, is against the party

Before she left Chennai by road for Bengaluru yesterday, Ms Sasikala
made a series of decisions to ensure she keeps control of the party
and government from jail. Ms Sasikala chose Mr Palaniswami to be Chief
Minister and also re-inducted two nephews into the party, appointing
one of them, TTV Dinakaran, as the AIADMK's deputy general secretary.

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.

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 has been
distinctly tilted towards OPS versus Ms Sasikala.

Ms Sasikala, who was Ms Jayalalithaa's closest companion, had
reportedly made party legislators take a "vow of loyalty" at the
resort where she sequestered them for nine days to prevent defections
to the Panneerselvam camp.
Peace Is Doable

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