AIADMK Treasurer and leader O Panneerselvam was sworn-in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on Monday, succeeding his party supremo two days after her conviction in an illegal assets case.
An emotional Panneerselvam was seen wiping his eyes as he was sworn-in as Chief Minister by Governor K Rosaiah at the Raj Bhavan.
The new Chief Minister’s cabinet was also sworn-in by the Governor.
63-year-old Panneerselvam, who is Jayalalithaa loyalist, was unanimously elected as Leader of AIADMK Party Legislature yesterday following Jayalalithaa’s conviction and subsequent disqualification as MLA following her four year prison term awarded by the Bangalore Special Court in the Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate assets case.
Panneerselvam had submitted the letter to the Governor later following which the latter invited him to form a Ministry led by him.
Even when Rosaiah extended customary greetings after the oath taking ceremony, Panneerselvam appeared deeply distressed and the Governor was seen comforting him.
Disappointment, helplessness and a sense of being orphaned without the presence of their ‘Amma’ was writ large on the visage of many Ministers, including new Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
Nothing exemplified the unflinching loyalty to AIADMK Chief Jayalalithaa than the action of Panneerselvam in placing a photograph of their leader on the podium just as he was about to be sworn in.
Tears rolled down the faces of many ministers as they came to the podium to be administered the oath of office and secrecy.
The media was not invited for coverage of the swearing-in ceremony and no invitations reached the opposition parties.
According to sources, a top government official extended an invitation over telephone to Madras High Court Chief Justice S K Kaul requesting his presence at the function.
Government officials had feigned ignorance since morning when journalists of various establishments contacted them for information about the swearing-in ceremony.