Chennai– K. Palaniswami, a loyalist of the now jailed AIADMK leader V.K. Sasikala, on Thursday took oath as the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, ending for now a bitter power struggle in the ruling party.
Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Raj Bhavan, hours after inviting him to form a government.
Palaniswami, 63, was the first to take oath in Tamil, followed by 30 ministers in batches.
Palaniswami has retained the crucial Finance Ministry he had in the outgoing government of O. Panneerselvam, whose attempt to foil Sasikala’s attempt to be the Chief Minister triggered an ugly war in the AIADMK.
A farmer by profession, Palaniswami also retained the portfolios of Public Works, Highways and Minor Ports he held in the earlier government.
A Raj Bhavan statement said senior party leaders C. Sreenivasan and K.A. Sengottaiyan have been designated as Minister for Forests and Minister for School Education and Sports and Youth Welfare.
P. Thangamani will be in charge of Electricity, Prohibition and Excise.
The other ministers are: K. Raju, S.P. Velumani, D. Jayakumar, C.Ve. Shanmugam, K.P. Anbalagan, V. Saroja, M.C. Sampath, K.C. Karuppanan, R. Kamaraj, O.S. Manian, K. Radhakrishnan, C. Vijaya Baskar, R. Doraikkannu, Kadambur Raju, R.B. Udhayakumar, N. Natarajan, K.C. Veeramani, K.T. Rajenthra Bhalaji, P. Benjamin, Nilofer Kafeel, M.R. Vijayabaskar, M. Manikandan, V.M. Rajjalakshmi, G. Baskaran, S. Ramachandran, S. Valarmathi and P. Balakrishna Reddy.
Panneerselvam took charge of the government after the December 5 death of Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
Sasikala was first elected the AIADMK General Secretary and then as the AIADMK legislature party leader to enable her to become the Chief Minister in place of Panneerselvam.
That’s when Panneerselvam revolted, leading to the worst faction fighting in the AIADMK.
On Thursday, after Palaniswamy was told to form a government, a dejected Panneerselvam vowed to continue his fight to foil the AIADMK from slipping into the hands of “one family” — an obvious reference to Sasikala.