O Panneerselvam, popularly known as OPS, is the acting chief minister of Tamil Nadu. He was sworn in as the Chief Minister following the death of J Jayalalithaa on December 5. He, however, resigned from the post on Sunday, citing personal relations. Generally perceived to be a man of few words, OPS ushered in a storm in Tamil Nadu’s political spectrum on Tuesday when he publicly declared on Marina beach that he had been forced to resign by a section of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) that wants Jayalalithaa’s close aide, Sasikala Natarajan to become the chief minister.
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This is the third time that Panneerselvam has resigned from the role of the state’s chief minister. Previously, OPS was sworn in to the position twice in the absence of Jayalalithaa. During the last two terms though, he refused to sit on the Jayalalithaa’s chair as a mark of respect for her. Noted to be a man of patience and one who did not greed over unnecessary power play in the state’s politics, OPS is said to have been favoured by the late chief minister as the best option for the role.
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Born in Periyakulam in Theni district, OPS has for long been a staunch follower of late AIADMK politician, MGR. Being a quiet man, he was described by an official working under him as being “neither a good boss nor a commander”. However, his recent rebellion against AIADMK General Secretary, Sasikala Natarajan, has clearly broken perception about him.