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O Panneerselvam

O Panneerselvam is the current Deputy Chief Minister (Deputy CM) of Tamil Nadu and a seasoned politician of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). He has been the CM of Tamil Nadu thrice -- once in 2001-02 when Jayalalithaa was barred by the Supreme Court from holding the post, and for a second time in 2014-15 when she was convicted in a disproportionate asset case. The third instance came in 2016-17 following Jayalalithaa's death.
 
Paneerselvam began his political career as a worker of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in 1969. Later, he joined the AIADMK in 1973 after the M G Ramachandran faction split from the DMK. He is currently a member of the Tamil Nadu Assembly representing the Bodinayakkanur constituency. He has contested elections from Periyakulam in 2001 and 2006 and won both times. In his political career spanning over 40 years, Panneerselvam has never lost an Assembly election. 
 
After Jayalalithaa’s death, Paneerselvam and V K Sasikala took to the beaches, quite literally, to fight for succession as the AIADMK General Secretary and the state’s Chief Minister. In a dramatic about-turn, Panneerselvam declared that Jayalalithaa's spirit had spoken to him while he paid her his respects at her burial at the Marina Beach. She wanted him to inherit her legacy and carry it forward for the people’s well-being. Sasikala allegedly locked in 120 of the party’s MLAs in Golden Bay, a beach resort in Chennai’s backwaters, fearing they might switch sides and team up with Paneerselvam. 
 
Sasikala appeared to be winning, as Pannerselvam was ousted from the party. She took over as the party’s General Secretary and managed to garner the support of a majority of the party's MLAs. However, another twist to the edge-of-the-seat thriller awaited people. The Supreme Court convicted Sasikala in the disproportionate asset case.
 
After his exit from AIADMK, Panneerselvam staked claim to the two-leaf party symbol, which the Election Commission rejected, allotting two different symbols to two party factions -- one each led by Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami. In August 2017, however, the two factions merged.

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