O. Panneerselvam

Ottakarathevar Panneerselvam Popularly Known as O.P.S. (born 14 January 1951)[1] is an Indian politician who served as the 6th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for 3 terms from 2001 -2002 , 2014-2015 and 2016-2017 and the 2nd Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from 21 August 2017 to 6 May 2021. He is the Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from 11 May 2021 and the chief coordinator of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

O. Panneerselvam
O. Panneerselvam.jpg
Panneerselvam in 2017
Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
Assumed office
14 June 2021
LeaderEdappadi K. Palaniswami
Preceded byDurai Murugan
6th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
In office
5 December 2016 – 15 February 2017
GovernorC. Vidyasagar Rao (Addit. charge)
Preceded byJ. Jayalalithaa
Succeeded byEdappadi K. Palaniswami
In office
28 September 2014 – 23 May 2015
GovernorKonijeti Rosaiah
Preceded byJ. Jayalalithaa
Succeeded byJ. Jayalalithaa
In office
21 September 2001 – 2 March 2002
GovernorC. Rangarajan (Addit. charge)
P. S. Ramamohan Rao
Preceded byJ. Jayalalithaa
Succeeded byJ. Jayalalithaa
2nd Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
In office
21 August 2017 – 6 May 2021
GovernorC. Vidyasagar Rao (Addit. charge)
Banwarilal Purohit
Chief MinisterEdappadi K. Palaniswami
Preceded byM. K. Stalin
Succeeded byVacant
Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
In office
19 May 2006 – 28 May 2006
SpeakerR. Avudaiappan
Preceded byK. Anbazhagan
Succeeded byJ. Jayalalithaa
Member of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly
Assumed office
16 May 2011
Preceded byS. Lakshmanan
In office
14 May 2001 – 15 May 2011
Preceded byL. Mookiah
Succeeded byA. Laser
Chief Coordinator and Deputy Leader of the Party Legislature Committee All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Assumed office
21 August 2017
DeputyK. P. Munusamy, R. Vaithilingam
Joint CoordinatorEdappadi K. Palaniswami
Treasurer of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Assumed office
28 August 2007
Chief CoordinatorHimself
Preceded byT. T. V. Dhinakaran
Personal details
Born (1951-01-14) 14 January 1951 (age 70)[1]
Periyakulam, Madras State (present-day Theni District, Tamil Nadu, India)
Political partyAll India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam AIADMK Two Leaves.png
Other political
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (1969–1973)
Spouse(s)P. Vijayalakshmi (dead 2021)[2]
Children3 including P. Raveendranath Kumar[3]
MotherPalaniammal Nachiar
FatherOttakkara Thevar
Alma materHajee Karutha Rowther Howdia College
AwardsInternational Rising Star of the Year-Asia (2019)
Nickname(s)O.P.S., Kaliyuga Bharathan

He is a senior leader of the AIADMK political party and was a staunch loyalist of former chief minister of Tamil Nadu and AIADMK General Secretary J. Jayalalithaa. His first two terms as Chief Minister came when he replaced Jayalalithaa in the role, after she was forced to resign by the courts. His third term began following Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's death and ended two months later, Edappadi K. Palaniswami was appointed as the Chief Minister by Tamil Nadu Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao.[4][5] He was sworn in as the Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 21 August 2017. He also holds portfolios of Finance, Housing, Rural Housing, Housing Development, Slum Clearance Board and Accommodation Control, Town Planning, Urban Development, and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority.[6] On 4 January 2018, O. Panneerselvam elected as Leader of the House in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.

Personal lifeEdit

Panneerselvam was born to Ottakkara Thevar and Palaniammal Nachiar on 14 January 1951 in Periyakulam, Tamil Nadu. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Haji Karutha Rowther Howdia College in Uthamapalayam, Theni district. His close friend Salavuddin from Tenali encouraged him into politics. He also owned some agricultural land. He is married to P. Vijayalakshmi and the couple have three children. He is currently elected from the constituency of Bodinayakkanur, in Theni district. [7] His wife died on 1 September 2021 due to a heart attack. [8]

Political careerEdit

Early political careerEdit

Paneerselvam started his political career periyakulam as a worker of the then united DMK in 1969 at the age of 18. He started out as a young ground level party activist who worked at the booth level for municipal and legislative assembly elections, and worked his way up the Party. He joined the AIADMK in 1973 after M. G. Ramachandran split from the DMK and was among the first generations of party workers who split to found AIADMK and is thus a founding member. He was Chairman of Periyakulam Municipality from 1996 to 2001.

Panneerselvam with Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi in 2017


First term as Chief Minister, 2001-2002Edit

He was sworn in as the 13th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in September 2001 when the Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was barred from holding office by the Supreme Court of India. During his stint as Chief Minister, he was widely criticised for allegedly heading a puppet government managed by Jayalalithaa. His tenure lasted for six months, from 21 September 2001 to 1 March 2002. In March 2002, he resigned as Chief Minister and Jayalalithaa was sworn in again after the Madras high Court overturned her conviction and she won a by-election from Andipatti assembly constituency. From 2 March 2002 to 13 December 2003, he was the Minister for Public Works, Prohibition and Excise. Subsequently, he was also entrusted with the Revenue department's charge from 13 December 2003 to 2006.

Leader of the Opposition, 2006Edit

After the party lost the assembly elections in May 2006, Panneerselvam was the leader of the AIADMK legislative party and the Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly for about two weeks. In that election, he was elected to be the member of Tamil Nadu legislative assembly from Periyakulam. After all the AIADMK legislators were suspended by the speaker of the house, Jayalalithaa, who had decided not to attend the Legislative Assembly, decided to return and replaced Panneerselvam as the Leader of the Opposition.

Second term as Chief Minister, 2014-2015Edit

In 2011, he contested as an AIADMK candidate from the Bodinayakkanur and won. Again, he became the Minister of Finance in Jayalalithaa's government and held the office from 16 May 2011 to 27 September 2014. He was again entrusted with the responsibility of being Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 29 September 2014 when Jayalalitha was convicted in the disproportionate assets case. On 22 May 2015, he resigned as Chief Minister and Jayalalithaa was sworn in again after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her in the disproportionate assets case on 11 May 2015.[9][10]

A year after his resignation, on 23 May 2016, he was sworn in as Minister for Finance and Public Works Department in Jayalalithaa's government.

Third term as Chief Minister, 2016-2017Edit

On 6 December 2016, Panneerselvam was elected as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu following the death of incumbent Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.[11] On 10 December he held his first cabinet meeting as a full-term Chief Minister..[12] He tended his resignation as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 6 February 2017 to the governor, who accepted and appointed him as the caretaker Chief Minister of the state to avoid a leadership vacuum, until further measures could be taken.[citation needed]. On 14 February 2017, he was expelled from the AIADMK by party general-secretary, V. K. Sasikala. Shortly after his expulsion, the Governor invited the newly elected legislative leader of the AIADMK, Edappadi K Palaniswami to form the government, following which he took over as chief minister on 16 February 2017.[13]


A report in The Week magazine on December 2017, alleged that Panneerselvam was on the sand mining baron Sekhar Reddy's payroll.[14] Reddy was arrested by the Income Tax department in March 2017 on money laundering charges. Five pages of the Reddy's Diary suggest alleged payments made to several AIADMK ministers, MLAs, and many others, amounting to more than ₹ 48 crore. At least five payments in which the word 'OPS' or the name of his secretary Ramesh was written are shown in the contents of the diary.[15][16]

Elections contestedEdit

Tamil Nadu Legislative electionsEdit

Elections Constituency Party Result Vote percentage Opposition Candidate Opposition Party Opposition vote percentage
2001 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election Periyakulam AIADMK Won 54.28 M. Abuthahir DMK 38.62
2006 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election Periyakulam AIADMK Won 49.81 L. Mookiah DMK 39.00
2011 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election Bodinayakkanur AIADMK Won 56.69 S. Lakshmanan DMK 38.89
2016 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election Bodinayakkanur AIADMK Won 49.38 S. Lakshmanan DMK 41.63
2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election Bodinayakkanur AIADMK Won 46.58 Thanga Tamil Selvan DMK 41.45

New Party SymbolEdit

After his exit from AIADMK Panneerselvam and his supporters appealed to the election commission to take action against the current chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and party General Secretary Sasikala. He also made a point to them that he needs the two leaf party symbol to contest in RK Nagar election. Also, Edappadi K. Palaniswami and supporters appealed against him, but the election commission rejected both the appeals and allotted two different symbols to each party.[17]

In August 2017 Edappadi K. Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam Faction merged. He was made Deputy Chief Minister and was also given finance Ministry.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Thiru O. Panneerselvam Hon'ble Deputy Chief Minister". Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Sasikala meets Panneerselvam, condoles his wife's death by holding his hands". The Times of India. 1 September 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  3. ^ Akshaya Nath (1 September 2021). "AIADMK leader Panneerselvam's wife Vijayalakshmi passes away after heart attack". India Today. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  4. ^ "E Palaniswami is new Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, 30 other AIADMK leaders take oath at Raj Bhavan". Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Palaniswami takes oath as CM, OPS says will fight for justice". Hindustan Times. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  6. ^ "AIADMK merger: Panneerselvam is Deputy CM, gets finance portfolio". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 21 August 2017.
  7. ^ "O. Panneerselvam Biography - About family, political life, awards won, history". Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Former Tamilnadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam's wife passes away". Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  9. ^ "DA case Live: Jayalalithaa walks out of prison, gets rousing welcome in Chennai". 18 October 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  10. ^ "TN CM O Panneerselvam resigns, makes way for Jayalalithaa to take over - Times of India". Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  11. ^ "Its official: AIADMK leaders choose O Panneerselvam as Jayalalithaas successor". Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  12. ^ "O Panneerselvam holds first cabinet meeting after Jayalalithaa's demise". India.com. 10 December 2016.
  13. ^ "AIADMK sacks Panneerselvam, 19 other rebel leaders from party - Times of India". Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  14. ^ "O Panneerselvam Dodges Corruption Charge As Report Triggers New Row". NDTV.com. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  15. ^ "Sekar Reddy's 'secret diary': Were OPS, other ministers on mining baron's payroll?". The News Minute. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2021.
  16. ^ "Money, and the man?". The Week. 17 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Blow to AIADMK: 'Two leaves' symbol frozen by Election Commission". deccanchronicle.com/. 23 March 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
First tenure

Succeeded by
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Second tenure

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Third tenure

6 December 2016 – 16 February 2017
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
21 August 2017 — 6 May 2021
Succeeded by