OPS Vs Thanga Tamilselvan: Battlefield Bodi

Chennai: Deputy Chief Minister and ruling AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam on Friday became the first political leader in the State to file his nomination papers for the 6 April Assembly elections.

Panneerselvam, who is seeking re-election from the Bodinayakanur constituency in his native Theni district in southern Tamilnadu, filed his papers before the Returning Officer.

The AIADMK strongman filed his papers on the first day of filing of nominations.

This is the third time Panneerselvam is contesting from Bodinayakanur after winning successive polls in 2011 and 2016.

Panneerselvam was earlier elected twice from the Periyakulam seat, also in Theni district, in the 2001 and 2006 Assembly polls.

At Bodinayakanur, it will be a direct fight between Panneerselvam and main Opposition DMK’s Thanga Tamilselvan.

A former AIADMK MLA, Thanga Tamilselvan was expelled from the party for shifting loyalty to TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK and later joined the DMK.

Panneerselvam was the Man Friday of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa as he was made Chief Minister for the first time in September 2001 after she was convicted in a corruption

He was also made as Chief Minister for a second time by her. He held the post for the third time immediately after the death of Jayalalithaa in December 2016, but resigned after two months, turning rebel against AIADMK, which was led by Jaya’s close aide V K Sasikala at that time.

After Sasikala’s Chief Ministerial ambitions were shattered by the Supreme Court which convicted her in the DA case and sentenced her to four years jail term, Edappadi K Palaniswami
was made Chief Minister, even as several AIADMK MLAs started switching loyalty to OPS.

Later, the two warring AIADMK factions merged and OPS was made the Deputy Chief Minister.


NT Bureau