Decks cleared for Sasikala as TN Guv accepts Panneerselvam’s resignation

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VK-SasikalaTamil Nadu Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao on Monday accepted the resignation of Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and his council of ministers.

This paves the way for Sasikala Natarajan, the former close aide of Jayalalithaa for 30 years, to take over as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. She is likely to take oath on February 9.

Panneerselvam had resigned yesterday citing “personal reasons”. His resignation came after AIADMK chief Sasikala was elected the Legislature Party Leader. “I hereby accept your resignation and the resignation of your Council of Ministers tendered vide your letter dated February 5, 2017,” Rao told Panneerselvam.

In a letter addressed to the Chief Minister and released by the Raj Bhavan, Rao also asked Panneerselvam and his Cabinet to function “until alternate arrangements are made”.

In his resignation letter addressed to the Governor yesterday, he had said, “Due to my personal reasons, I’m tendering my resignation from the post of Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.”

“Kindly accept my resignation and relieve the Council of Ministers of Tamil Nadu appointed by me on December 6, 2016,” he said.

Panneerselvam was appointed Chief Minister on the night of December 5 within hours of the death of his predecessor J Jayalalithaa.

61-year-old Sasikala was elected as the leader of the AIADMK Legislature Party on Sunday replacing Panneerselvam.

Her election brings back a long-held tradition in the party by which both the leader of the party and the government is one and the same.

Interestingly, outgoing Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who had stood in for the late Jayalalithaa twice due to court cases and was sworn-in after her death on December 5, proposed Ms Sasikala’s name for the top post of the state. Once sworn-in, Ms Sasikala will be the third woman Chief Minister of the state after late Janaki Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa.