As the death of AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was announced, the party announced senior AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam as the new AIADMK chief and the new Tamil Nadu chief minister. He was sworn in after midnight by Governor Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhawan, amid the presence of party leaders.
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This is the third time that he is being sworn in as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu. Panneerselvam has previously served as chief minister of Tamil Nadu from 2001 to 2002, when Jayalalithaa was barred from holding political office by the Supreme Court. He held office as CM again from September 2014 to May 2015 when Jayalalithaa was convicted in the disproportionate assets case.
In office, Panneerselvam refused to sit on the chief minister’s chair, preferring to keep a picture of Jayalalithaa on it and working on a chair beside it.
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Jayalalithaa breathed her last on 11:30 pm on Monday, Apollo Hospital Chennai announced in a bulletin. She had been undergoing treatment there since September 22. News of her complete revival came in on Sunday but soon after she suffered a massive cardiac arrest that led to her demise.
Condolences for the leader have poured in from all leaders. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said her loss has left a huge void in Indian politics while talking about her connect with the people, women and the marginalised sections of the state. Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi also talked about her connect with the people, saying India has lost a great leader.