Edappadi K. Palaniswamy

Edappadi K. Palaniswamy

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Category: Politics

Edappadi K. Palaniswamy Profile

  • Name:
  • Edappadi K. Palaniswamy
  • Other Name:
  • K. Palanisamy
  • Born:
  • March 2, 1954
  • Father:
  • Karuppa Gounder

Edappadi K. Palaniswamy Biography

Edappadi K. Palaniswami is an Indian politician who is the 13th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, having assumed the office on 16 February, 2017. He is a senior leader of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

A member of the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam political party, he is the incumbent Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Edapadi in the Salem district in Tamil Nadu. He previously served as Minister for Highways & Minor Ports in the Jayalalithaa and O. Panneerselvam-led ministries of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

He was elected as the leader of AIADMK Legislature Party on February 14, 2017 after incumbent V. K. Sasikala was convicted by the Supreme Court in the 20-year old disproportionate assets case.

Edappadi K. Palaniswami
Palaniswami has been a strong Sasikala supporter for more than 15 years. By having a gounder chief minister, Sasikala has sought to weaken the hold of Panneerselvam who has been drawing MLAs from the kongu belt.

Palaniswami owes his political beginnings and career growth to the Sasikala family. He was inducted into the good books of Sasikala through her brother's son-in-law R P Ravanan. Among the top five ministers in Jayalalithaa's cabinet, when former electricity minister Natham Viswanathan earned Jayalalithaa's ire and was sidelined, Palaniswami rose to become No 2.

He joined the AIADMK in 1983 and remained in the Jaya faction when the party split in 1989. That was the year he contested assembly elections for the first time and won. Palaniswami has won the assembly election to the state assembly four times, in 1989, 1991, 2011 and 2016 from the Edapadi constituency. Though Palaniswami got defeated in 1996 assembly, 2004 Lok Sabha and 2006 assembly elections, he again got a ticket in 2011, thanks to Ravanan. But Sengottayan, another gounder leader, got sidelined by Amma in 2011 and it was a natural elevation for Palaniswami.

Corruption allegations have cropped up against Palaniswami but his unflinching loyalty to Ravanan and Sasikala kept his position intact. His growth was aided by the fact that there were no powerful competitors in the AIADMK from Salem and no tough challenger from DMK. That aided his victory in 2016 assembly election with a margin of more than 40,000 votes, in spite of his eroding credibility among the public.

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Updated: December 30, 2020

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