Chennai, Dec 6: With Jayalalithaa passing away, the AIADMK was faced with a major decision on choosing a successor. While O Paneerselvam has alway been the go to man when Jayalalithaa was not around, this time the decision was not that easy to make.
There was plenty of back room drama that took place before the name of Paneerselvam was finally cleared by the party. However what is interesting is the speed at which the decision was taken and the swearing in ceremony was completed.
Jayalalithaa had passed way at 11.30 PM. The decision to make Panneerselvam the Chief Minister was taken at 11.40 PM. By 12.30 the swearing in ceromony at the Raj Bhavan was completed.
What transpired behind the scenes?
At around 7 PM all the AIADMK, MLAs were told to wait inside the party's headquarters. They were also told to sign an undertaking stating that they would abide by whatever decision the party would take regarding the next chief minister. The leaders were also told not to discuss with anyone the proceedings within the party.
Meanwhile Venkaiah Naidu arrived at the Apollo Hospital. He was holding talks with Paneerselvam, Edapadi Palaniswamy and Sasikala. Later on a meeting was held at the hospital in which Panneerselvam was not present.
The three then emerged out of the meeting and told Panneerselvam that he would be the next chief minister of Tamil Nadu. This decision was conveyed to him at 11.40 PM, ten minutes after the death of Jayalalithaa. In the meantime, the Appolo Hospital issued a statement at 11.45 announcing her death.
Following this Raj Bhavan was informed about this decision. All the MLAs including Paneerselvam gathered at the Raj Bhavan by 12 and the swearing in ceremony was completed by 12.30 PM.