Senior AIADMK Leader and Tamil Nadu Finance Minister O Panneerselvam is likely to succeed Ms J Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister following a special court in Bangalore awarding her a four-year prison term in the disproportionate assets case.
”Since Mr Panneerselvam is the senior most leader in the Party and had once served as Chief Minister in 2001, he is the likely choice”, AIADMK sources said in Chennai.
The sources said when a similar situation arose in September 2001 when the Supreme Court overturned her appointment as Chief Minister following her conviction in a corruption case, her trusted lieutenant, Mr Paneerselvam took over as the Chief Minister.
However, in March 2002, the AIADMK Supremo returned as the Chief Minister after being acquitted by the Madras High Court, contested the polls and became an MLA.
AIADMK sources said since Mr Paneerselvam is the senior most leader in the party, he will be the right candidate for the post.
He (Paneerselvam) will be our next Chief Minister until Amma (as Ms Jayalalithaa is affectionately called) comes back after proving her innocence in the court, a senior party leader said.
However, speculations were also rife that Ms Jayalalithaa might not give a chance to Mr Paneerselvam this time as he had already been given an opportunity.
Though the names of Power Minister Natham Viswanathan and Transport Minister Senthil Balaji were also doing the rounds as the possible Chief Ministerial candidates, a final decision would be taken at the AIADMK Legislature Party meeting, which was expected to be convened soon.
Subscribe to our email newsletter.