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Published: Fri, February 17, 2017
Business | By Megan Pierce

Sasikala convicted by Supreme court, disqualified for CM post

Sasikala convicted by Supreme court, disqualified for CM post

Having been convicted in the disproportionate assets case and amid her ongoing power tussle with O Pannerselvam, VK Sasikala handed over the baton of the leader of AIADMK legislature party to Edappadi K Palaniswami.

They will highlight the appointment on key posts of members of Sasikala's family who had been expelled by Jayalalithaa.

Early in the day, Palaniswamy was summoned to the Raj Bhavan and the Governor handed him the letter appointing him as the Chief Minister of the State.

Saskiala, 59, surrendered before the trial court here on Wednesday evening and entered the jail premises before 6 p.m after the Supreme Court declined her plea for more time to give herself up./Eom/545 words.

After the swearing-in, Palaniswami, his cabinet and the new AIADMK deputy general secretary T T V Dinakaran, Sasikala's nephew, headed to the Jayalalithaa memorial on Marina Beach to pay tributes.

Besides Jayalalithaa, against whom the proceedings will be abated due to her demise on December 5 past year, Sasikala, and the latter's relatives, VN Sudhakaran and Elavarasi, were also acquitted in the assets case by the Karnataka High Court.

But before Tuesday's ruling she appeared to have won enough support to be sworn in by the state assembly this week. Along with him will be sworn in a 31 member cabinet.

As an influential leader from the powerful Gounder community, K Palanisamy, the 62-year-old from Edappadi village in Salem district, was an nearly automatic choice to be chosen as the leader of the AIADMK Legislature Party.

He was tipped for the Chief Minister's post after Jayalalithaa died but that did not happen.Hailing from Nedungulam village in Salem district, Palaniswami belongs to the Gounder community.

On the other hand, the AIADMK MLAs of Sasikala camp have been once again lodged at the Golden Bay Resort in Kuvathur. "Many MLAs will support only Amma's rule and not rule of a family", he said.

A farmer by profession, Palaniswami also retained the portfolios of the Public Works, Highways and Minor Ports he held in the previous government.

Sasikala had been involved in a bitter battle with acting chief minister, O Panneerselvam, who had been trying to block her ascent.

Mr Palaniswami, who says he is a farmer, has been given 15 days by the Tamil Nadu governor to prove he has a majority in the state's assembly.

In 1987 after party founder MG Ramachandran's death, the AIADMK split into two factions - one led by Jayalalithaa and the other by MGR's wife Janaki. The special court had in 2014 held Jayalalithaa guilty of corruption and sentenced her to four years imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 100 crore.

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