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List of chief ministers of Tamil Nadu

  (Redirected from Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu)

The complete list of Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu consists of the heads of government in the history of the state of Tamil Nadu in India since 1920. The area under the present-day state of Tamil Nadu has been part of different territorial configurations under Madras Presidency and Madras State in its history.[2][3]

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
TamilNadu Logo.svg
Edappadi K. Palaniswami.jpg
Edappadi K. Palaniswami

since 16 February 2017 (2017-02-16)
Chief Minister's Office
StyleThe Honourable (formal)
Mr. Chief Minister (informal)
StatusHead of government
Member of
Reports to
ResidenceGreenways Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
SeatChief Secretariat of Tamil Nadu, Rajaji Salai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
AppointerGovernor of Tamil Nadu
by convention, based on appointee's ability to command confidence in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
Term lengthAt the pleasure of the governor
Legislative Assembly term is 5 years unless dissolved sooner
No term limits specified
Inaugural holderA. Subbarayalu Reddiar (1920–21)
Formation17 December 1920; 98 years ago (1920-12-17)
DeputyO. Panneerselvam
Salary2.05 lakh (US$3,000) (annual, including 12.6 lakh (US$18,000) MLA's salary)
The state of Tamil Nadu in India has an electorate of more than 70 million people (7 crores)[1]


Chief Ministers of Madras PresidencyEdit

Madras Presidency in 1909, southern portion

The Madras Presidency, headquartered in Fort St. George, India, was a province of British India that comprised present day Tamil Nadu, the Malabar region of North Kerala, the coastal and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh, and the Bellary, Dakshina Kannada, and Udupi districts of Karnataka. It was established in 1653 to be the headquarters of the English settlements on the Coromandel Coast.

The territory under the presidency comprised only Madraspatnam and surrounding regions. But, after the Anglo-French wars and the consequent alliance between the English East India Company and the Nawab of Arcot, it was expanded to comprise the region from Northern Circars to Cape Comorin. The governance structure also evolved from a modest secretariat with a single secretary for the Public Department in 1670 to six departments overseen by a chief secretary by 1920.

The Indian Councils Act 1861 set up the Madras Legislative Council as an advisory body, without powers, through which the colonial administration obtained advice and assistance from able and willing Indian business leaders. But membership was selected (not elected) and not representative of the masses. With the enactment of Government of India Act 1919, the first legislature was formed in 1920 after general elections.[4] The term of the legislative council was three years. It had 132 members of whom 34 were nominated by the governor and the rest were elected. Under the Government of India Act 1935, a bicameral legislature was set up with a legislative assembly consisting of 215 members and a legislative council having 56 members. The first legislative assembly under this act was constituted in July 1937. The legislative council was a permanent body with a third of its members retiring every 3 years with power to decide on bills passed by the assembly[5]

In 1939, the British government declared India's entrance into World War II without consulting provincial governments. The Indian National Congress protested by asking all its elected representatives to resign from the governments.[6] Congress came back to power in 1946 after new provincial elections.[7]

#[8] Name Portrait Took office Left office Term[9] Political party Election
1 A. Subbarayalu Reddiar
  17 December 1920 11 July 1921 1st
(206 days)
Justice Party[10] 1920 Madras Legislative Council Election
2 Raja of Panagal
  11 July 1921 11 September 1923 1st
(792 days)
Justice Party[10]
Raja of Panagal
19 November 1923 4 December 1926 2nd
(1,111 days)
Justice Party[11][12][13] 1923 Madras Legislative Council Election
3 P. Subbarayan
  4 December 1926 27 October 1930 1st
(1,423 days)
Unaffiliated[10] 1926 Madras Legislative Council Election
4 B. Munuswamy Naidu
  27 October 1930 5 November 1932 1st
(740 days)
Justice Party[10] 1930 Madras Legislative Council Election
5 Raja of Bobbili
  5 November 1932 5 November 1934 1st
(730 days)
Justice Party[10]
Raja of Bobbili
5 November 1934 4 April 1936 2nd
(516 days)
Justice Party[10] 1934 Madras Legislative Council Election
6 P. T. Rajan
  4 April 1936 24 August 1936 1st
(142 days)
Justice Party[10]
(5) Raja of Bobbili
  24 August 1936 1 April 1937 3rd
(220 days)
Justice Party[10]
7 Kurma Venkata Reddy Naidu
  1 April 1937 14 July 1937 1st
(104 days)
Interim provisional ministry[14][15][16][17] 1937 Madras Legislative Assembly Election
8 C. Rajagopalachari
  14 July 1937 29 October 1939 1st
(837 days)
Indian National Congress
- Governor's Rule[18]   29 October 1939 30 April 1946 (2,375 days)
9 Tanguturi Prakasam
  30 April 1946 23 March 1947 1st
(327 days)
Indian National Congress 1946 Madras Legislative Assembly Election
10 O. P. Ramaswamy Reddiyar
  23 March 1947 6 April 1949 1st
(745 days)
Indian National Congress
11 P. S. Kumaraswamy Raja
  6 April 1949 26 January 1950 1st
(295 days)
Indian National Congress

Chief Ministers of Madras StateEdit

Map of southern India showing the Madras State in yellow before the reorganisation of 1956

Madras State, precursor to the present day state of Tamil Nadu, was created after India became a republic on 26 January 1950.[19] It comprised present-day Tamil Nadu and parts of present-day Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. The first legislature of the Madras State to be elected on the basis of universal suffrage was constituted on 1 March 1952, after the general elections held in January 1952.[20]

The state was split up along linguistic lines in 1953, carving out Andhra State. Under the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, the States of Kerala, and Mysore were carved out of Madras state. Under the implementation of the Andhra Pradesh and Madras Alteration of Boundaries Act, 1959, with effect from 1 April 1960, Tirutani taluk and Pallipattu sub-taluk of Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh were transferred to Madras in exchange for territories from the Chingelput and Salem districts.[4][21]

#[8] Name Portrait Took office Left office Term[9] Political party Election
1 P. S. Kumaraswamy Raja
  27 January 1950 9 April 1952 2nd
(805 days)
Indian National Congress 1946 Madras Legislative Assembly Election
2 C. Rajagopalachari
  10 April 1952 12 April 1954 2nd
(733 days)
1952 Madras Legislative Assembly Election
3 K. Kamaraj
MLA for Gudiyattam (1954-57)
MLA for Sattur (1957-63)
  13 April 1954 31 March 1957 1st
(1,083 days)
13 April 1957 1 March 1962 2nd
(1,783 days)
1957 Madras Legislative Assembly Election
15 March 1962 2 October 1963 3rd
(566 days)
1962 Madras Legislative Assembly Election
4 M. Bakthavatsalam
MLA for Sriperumbudur
  3 October 1963 5 March 1967 1st
(1,251 days)
5 C. N. Annadurai
  6 March 1967 13 January 1969 1st
(680 days)
DMK 1967 Madras Legislative Assembly election
C. N. AnnaduraiM. BakthavatsalamK. KamarajC. RajagopalachariP. S. Kumaraswamy Raja 


Chief ministers of Tamil NaduEdit

The political state of Tamil Nadu in India was created in 1969 when erstwhile Madras State was renamed

Madras State was renamed as Tamil Nadu (Tamil for Tamil country) on 14 January 1969.[19] The legislative assembly adopted a resolution on 14 May 1986, to abolish the legislative council. Thereafter, the legislative council was abolished through an act of Parliament named the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council (Abolition) Act, 1986[23] with effect from 1 November 1986. The state legislature is unicameral, and consists of 235 members including one nominated member.[5]

The chief minister commands most of the executive powers while the governor has a largely ceremonial role. The chief minister of Tamil Nadu, like other chief ministers of India, is elected by legislators of the political party or the coalition which commands a simple majority in the legislative assembly. The tenure of the chief minister extends as long as he or she enjoys the confidence of the assembly. The incumbent shall vacate the office in the event of a successful motion of no confidence. Also, the President of India, acting under the recommendations of the cabinet of ministers of the Government of India, can dismiss an elected government using certain provisions of Article 356 of the Constitution of India. In 1976, Karunanidhi's government was dismissed and president's rule was imposed on the grounds of corruption.[24] If a vacancy is caused to the office of the chief minister due to death, demitting, or dismissal, the governor can invite another person to form the government and request him or her to move a confidence-seeking motion in the assembly. In the event of no one enjoying majority support, the assembly is either dissolved or put in suspended animation and the state comes under president's rule or a caretaker government until fresh elections are held for the assembly. The incumbent shall be disqualified if convicted of a criminal offence with a jail sentence of two years or more. In 2014, Jayalalithaa lost her post due to a special court sentencing her to four years of prison term in the disproportionate assets case.[25]

No. Name Portrait Took office Left office Term[9] Political party[26] Election
1 C. N. Annadurai
  14 January 1969 3 February 1969[†][27] 1st
(20 days)
DMK 1967 State assembly election
- V.R. Nedunchezhiyan
MLA for Triplicane
4 February 1969 9 February 1969 1st
(5 days)
2 M. Karunanidhi
MLA for Saidapet
  10 February 1969 4 January 1971 1st
(693 days)
* President's rule[19]   5 January 1971 14 March 1971 (68 days)
(2) M. Karunanidhi
MLA for Saidapet
  15 March 1971 31 January 1976 2nd
(1783 days)
DMK 1971 State assembly election
* President's rule[19]   1 February 1976 29 June 1977 (514 days)
3 M. G. Ramachandran
MLA for Aruppukkottai
  30 June 1977 17 February 1980 1st
(962 days)
AIADMK 1977 State assembly election
* President's rule[19]   18 February 1980 8 June 1980 (111 days)
(3) M. G. Ramachandran
MLA for Madurai West
  9 June 1980 15 November 1984 2nd
(1620 days)
AIADMK 1980 State assembly election
M. G. Ramachandran
MLA for Andipatti
10 February 1985 24 December 1987[†] 3rd
(1047 days)
1984 State assembly election
- V.R. Nedunchezhiyan[19]
MLA for Athoor
25 December 1987 6 January 1988 2nd
(12 days)
4 Janaki Ramachandran   7 January 1988 30 January 1988 1st
(23 days)
* President's rule[19]   31 January 1988 26 January 1989 (361 days)
(2) M. Karunanidhi
MLA for Harbour
  27 January 1989 30 January 1991 3rd
(733 days)
DMK 1989 State assembly election
* President's rule[19]   31 January 1991 23 June 1991 (144 days)
5 J. Jayalalithaa
MLA for Bargur
  24 June 1991 12 May 1996 1st
(1784 days)
AIADMK 1991 State assembly election
(2) M. Karunanidhi
MLA for Chepauk
  13 May 1996 13 May 2001 4th
(1826 days)
DMK 1996 State assembly election
(5)[28] J. Jayalalithaa
{Did not contest,all 4 Nominations rejected due to TANSI case}
  14 May 2001 21 September 2001 2nd
(130 days) [28]
AIADMK 2001 State assembly election
6 O. Panneerselvam
MLA for Periyakulam
  22 September 2001 1 March 2002 1st
(160 days)
(5) J. Jayalalithaa
MLA for Andipatti
  2 March 2002 12 May 2006 3rd
(1532 days) [28]
(2) M. Karunanidhi
MLA for Chepauk
  13 May 2006 15 May 2011[29] 5th[30]
(1828 days)
DMK 2006 State assembly election
(5) J. Jayalalithaa
MLA for Srirangam
  16 May 2011 27 September 2014[25] 4th[31]
(1230 days)
AIADMK 2011 State assembly election
* Vacant 28 September 2014 1 day
(6) O. Panneerselvam
MLA for Bodinayakkanur
  29 September 2014[32] 22 May 2015[33] 2nd
(235 days)
(5) J. Jayalalithaa
MLA for Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar
  23 May 2015[34] 22 May 2016 5th
(366 days)
(5) J. Jayalalithaa
MLA for Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar
23 May 2016[35] 5 December 2016[†] 6th
(196 days)
2016 State assembly election
(6) O. Panneerselvam
MLA for Bodinayakkanur
  6 December 2016[36] 15 February 2017[22]
(71 days)
7 Edappadi K. Palaniswami
MLA for Edappadi
  16 February 2017[37] Incumbent 1st
(916 days)
  • Assassinated or died in office
Edappadi K. PalaniswamiO. PanneerselvamJ. JayalalithaaO. PanneerselvamVacantJ. JayalalithaaM. KarunanidhiJ. JayalalithaaO. PanneerselvamJ. JayalalithaaM. KarunanidhiJ. JayalalithaaPresident's ruleM. KarunanidhiPresident's ruleJanaki RamachandranV.R. NedunchezhiyanM. G. RamachandranPresident's ruleM. G. RamachandranPresident's ruleM. KarunanidhiPresident's ruleM. KarunanidhiV.R. NedunchezhiyanC. N. Annadurai 


  • Ignoring an intervening president's rule from 17 February 1980 to 9 June 1980, the chief minister with the longest tenure (in successive terms) in office was M. G. Ramachandran, lasting 10 years, 5 months and 25 days from 30 June 1977 until his death on 24 December 1987.
  • K. Kamaraj was the chief minister with the longest tenure without intervening president's rules. His terms lasted from 13 April 1954 to 2 October 1963, i.e., 9 years, 5 months and 19 days.
  • C. N. Annadurai became the first chief minister of Tamil Nadu to die in office on 3 February 1969.
  • J. Jayalalithaa became the first woman leader of opposition in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.
  • J. Jayalalithaa became the first woman chief minister of Tamil Nadu By Winning legislative assembly election in 1991.
  • J. Jayalalithaa became the first actress-turned chief minister in India by winning legislative assembly election.
  • J. Jayalalithaa holds a record by being sworn as chief minister six times, followed by Karunanidhi who sworn five times.
  • On 21 September 2001, the Supreme Court of India ruled that the appointment of Ms. Jayalalithaa as chief minister on 14 May 2001 was invalid, with retrospective effect. Therefore, technically, decisions of her cabinet during the period May–September 2001 in effect became legal fiction.
  • J. Jayalalithaa became the first incumbent chief minister to lose her post in a graft case when a special court sentenced her to four years of prison term on 27 September 2014.[25] The sentence was subsequently overturned by the Karnataka High Court which acquitted Jayalalithaa of all charges and that allowed her to return to the post for a fourth term.
  • M. Karunanidhi has been in the office as chief minister for 6,863 days (around 18 years) in multiple tenures. Also was the only chief minister holding posts at different occasions spanning six decades starting from 1960s (from 1969), 1970s (until 1976), 1980s (from 1989), 1990s (until 1991 and again from 1996), 2000s (until 2001 and again from 2006) and 2010s (up to 2011).
  • J. Jayalalithaa became the first woman chief minister of Tamil Nadu to win the legislative assembly election consecutively 2 times.
  • J. Jayalalithaa became the longest served woman chief minister of Tamil Nadu in multiple tenures.

Living Former Chief MinistersEdit

Name Birth
O. Panneerselvam 14 January 1951
(68 years, 219 days)
22 September 2001 – 1 March 2002,
29 September 2014 – 22 May 2015 and
6 December 2016 – 15 February 2017

See alsoEdit

Footnotes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ Mariappan, Julie (31 May 2013). "Tamil Nadu population rises to 7.2 crore in a decade". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  2. ^ — Government of Tamil Nadu — Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu since 1920
  3. ^ Government of Tamil Nadu — Assemblies — An Overview Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Government of Tamil Nadu — Tamil Nadu Secretariat — Brief History
  5. ^ a b Legislative bodies of India - Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
  6. ^ The Telegraph - Own Goal - Partition became inevitable once the Congress resigned in 1939
  7. ^ Pakistan - toward partition
  8. ^ a b The colours indicate the political party affiliation of each Chief Minister.
  9. ^ a b c The ordinal number of the term being served by the person specified in the row in the corresponding period
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h World — Provinces of British India
  11. ^ Rajaraman, P. (1988). The Justice Party: a historical perspective, 1916-37. Poompozhil Publishers. pp. 212–220.
  12. ^ Sundararajan, Saroja (1989). March to freedom in Madras Presidency, 1916-1947. Lalitha Publications. pp. 334–389. OCLC 20222383.
  13. ^ S. Krishnaswamy (1989). The role of Madras Legislature in the freedom struggle, 1861-1947. People's Pub. House (New Delhi). pp. 126–131.
  14. ^ Though Congress won the election, it refused to form the government as it did not like the governor's veto power over the cabinet. The governor of Madras, Lord Erskine, decided to form an interim provisional Government with non-members and opposition members of the Legislative Assembly. V. S. Srinivasa Sastri was first offered the chief ministership of the interim government but refused to accept it. Eventually an interim government was formed under Kurma Venkata Reddy Naidu on 1 April 1937. It lasted until July, when the Congress accepted Viceroy Linlithgow's assurance that the veto would not be abused and decided to form the government.
  15. ^ Ramanathan, K. V. (2008). The Satyamurti letters: the Indian freedom struggle through the eyes of a parliamentarian, Volume 1. Pearson Education India. pp. 301–5. ISBN 9788131714881. ISBN 81-317-1488-8, ISBN 978-81-317-1488-1.
  16. ^ Menon, Visalakshi (2003). From movement to government: the Congress in the United Provinces, 1937-42. Sage. p. 75. ISBN 9780761996200. ISBN 0-7619-9620-6, ISBN 978-0-7619-9620-0.
  17. ^ Nagarajan, Krishnaswami (1989). Dr. Rajah Sir Muthiah Chettiar: a biography. Annamalai University. pp. 63–70.
  18. ^ Congress Ministries in all the provinces of British India resigned on 29 October 1939 protesting the viceroy's declaration of war against Germany. Madras Presidency remained under "the direct rule of the Governor of the Province" until the next elections were held in March 1946. (India (Failure of Constitutional Machinery) HC Deb 16 April 1946 vol 421 cc2586-92)
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i World — Indian states since 1947
  20. ^ Government of Tamil Nadu — The State Legislature — Origin and Evolution Archived 13 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Historical Importance of Kanchipuram Archived 18 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ a b "O Panneerselvam resigns as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, cites personal reasons". The Indian Express. 5 February 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  23. ^ "The Tamil Nadu Legislative Council (Abolition) Act, 1986".
  24. ^ "The Hindu - Delhi's warning". Archived from the original on 20 June 2006. Retrieved 11 June 2006.
  25. ^ a b c "Jayalalitha is the first CM to lose post in a graft case". DNA India. 27 September 2014.
  26. ^ This column only names the chief minister's party. The state government he heads may be a complex coalition of several parties and independents; these are not listed here.
  27. ^ "DMK, AIADMK pay homage to Annadurai". Archived from the original on 4 March 2005. ... the leader's life was cut short by cancer 3 February 1969.
  28. ^ a b c On 21 September 2001, a five-judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India ruled in a unanimous verdict that "a person who is convicted for a criminal offence and sentenced to imprisonment for a period of not less than two years cannot be appointed the Chief Minister of a State under Article 164 (1) read with (4) and cannot continue to function as such". Thereby, the bench decided that "in the appointment of Ms. Jayalalithaa as chief minister there has been a clear infringement of a constitutional provision and that a writ of quo warranto must issue". In effect her appointment as chief minister was declared null and invalid with retrospective effect. Therefore, technically, she was not the chief minister in the period between 14 May 2001 and 21 September 2001 (The Hindu — SC unseats Jayalalithaa as CM Archived 28 November 2004 at the Wayback Machine, Full text of the judgment from official Supreme Court site Archived 27 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine).
  29. ^ "The Hindu - Karunanidhi resigns". Archived from the original on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  30. ^ BBC News - New leader for Tamil Nadu state
  31. ^ "Jayalalithaa begins third term as Chief Minister today". NDTV. 16 May 2011.
  32. ^ Jayalalithaa's trusted aide Panneerselvam sworn as Tamil Nadu's new chief minister
  33. ^ O Panneerselvam resigns from Chief Minister post
  34. ^ "Jayalalitha sworn in as chief minister of Tamil Nadu". BBC News. 23 May 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  35. ^ PTI. "AIADMK comes to power again; Jayalalitha bucks tradition". The Financial Express. Archived from the original on 20 May 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  36. ^ "Jayalalithaa no more: O Panneerselvam sworn in as the new Tamil Nadu CM". The Financial Express. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  37. ^ T. Ramakrishnan. "Edappadi Palaniswami sworn in as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister". The Hindu. 17 February 2017.