K Palanisamy
K Palanisamy with JayalalithaaWikimedia Commons

Former AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala Natarajan, in her final act as the party chief, elected Edapadi K Palanisamy as the new party chief on Tuesday. She also removed Panneerselvam from the primary membership of the party

The move came after the Supreme Court convicted Sasikala in the 20-year-old disproportionate assets case and sentenced her to four years in jail and slapped a fine of Rs 10 crore. She can't become the chief minister or contest elections for ten years.

Sasikala also wrote a letter to Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao saying Palanisamy should be invited to form the government following his appointment as the AIADMK chief. 

Palanisamy, who is currently the Minister for Highways and Minor Ports in the Tamil Nadu government, is a sitting MLA of Edapadi in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu.

He was elected to state assembly in 1989, 1991, 2011 and 2016. He contested all the elections on AIADMK ticket from the Edapadi constituency.

Palanisamy's appointment as the AIADMK general secretary will allow him to stake claim for the Chief Minister post. Meanwhile, the verdict has given a second wind to Panneerselvam, who is also aiming for the top post. The decision as to who will form the government rests with the Governor.

Palanisamy reportedly shared a good friendship with the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.