O. Panneerselvam

The Resilient Leader of Tamil Nadu
O. Panneerselvam

O. Panneerselvam

O. Panneerselvam, commonly known as OPS, is a prominent figure in Tamil Nadu politics. His career is marked by unwavering loyalty to the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and his pivotal role in the state's governance. In this article, we will delve into the life, career, and significant contributions of O. Panneerselvam to Tamil Nadu politics.

Early Life and Entry into Politics

O. Panneerselvam was born on January 14, 1951, in Periyakulam, Tamil Nadu. His early life was marked by humble beginnings, and he worked as a farmer before venturing into politics. His entry into politics was influenced by his association with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), a party founded by the charismatic leader M.G. Ramachandran. 

O. Panneerselvam is married to P. Vijayalakshmi and the couple have three children

Key Political Roles and Achievements

  • Minister in Tamil Nadu Government: Panneerselvam's political career began in 1996 when he was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Periyakulam. He held various ministerial portfolios in the Tamil Nadu government, including Public Works and Highways.

  • Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu: Panneerselvam is known for his stints as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, serving on multiple occasions. His first term came in 2001 after the unexpected demise of the then Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa. Panneerselvam was sworn in as the Chief Minister, taking over the reins of the state.

  • Jallikattu Protests: Panneerselvam's tenure as Chief Minister during the Jallikattu protests in 2017 was significant. He stood with the protesters and played a role in preserving the traditional sport while maintaining law and order.

  • Resignation and Return: In a surprising turn of events, Panneerselvam resigned as Chief Minister in 2016, paving the way for the return of J. Jayalalithaa to the position. However, he was reinstated as Chief Minister after her unfortunate demise later the same year.

  • Deputy Chief Minister: In addition to his role as Chief Minister, Panneerselvam served as the Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu under various AIADMK governments.

Challenges and Controversies

O. Panneerselvam's tenure as Chief Minister was not without its share of challenges and controversies. His role in the internal political dynamics of the AIADMK, particularly during the periods of leadership disputes, attracted significant attention and controversy.


O. Panneerselvam's political journey is a testament to his loyalty to the AIADMK and his commitment to serving the people of Tamil Nadu. His roles as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister have left a significant impact on the state's political landscape. Despite the controversies and challenges he has faced, his resilience and dedication to his political ideals and party continue to make him a respected figure in Tamil Nadu politics. O. Panneerselvam's contributions to the state and the AIADMK's political legacy remain noteworthy.

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