Chennai: Two hours after the announcement of J Jayalalithaa's death on Monday, her loyalist O Panneerselvam was sworn in as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at a sombre ceremony at the Raj Bhawan.
He is the 19th CM of Tamil Nadu and was unanimously elected as the new legislative party leader by AIADMK MLAs.
Panneerselvam had stepped into her shoes twice earlier when she was convicted in corruption cases. As Finance Minister, he was given charge of the portfolios held by Jayalalithaa after her admission to Apollo Hospitals on September 22.
He served as CM in two spells from 2001 to 2002 and again from 2014 to 2015.
He was handed over all the portfolios handled by Jayalalithaa when she was hospitalised.
Jayalalithaa, who scored a historic win in the Assembly elections in the state little over six months ago, was admitted to Apollo Hospitals on September 22 with fever and dehydration but she could never recover.
Announcing her death, Apollo Hospitals said in a statement: "It is with indescribable grief, we announce the sad demise of our esteemed Honourable Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Puratchi Thalaivi Amma at 11.30 PM today. Our honourable Chief Minister Selvi J Jayalalithaa was admitted on 22.9.2016 with complaints of fever and dehydration and underlying co-morbidities. The honourable Chief Minister responded well to the multi-disciplinary care in the Critical Care Unit and subsequently recovered substantially to being able to take food orally. On this basis, honourable Chief Minister was shifted from the Advanced Critical Care Unit to the High Dependency Unit, where her health and vitals continued to improve under the close monitoring by our expert panel of specialists."
(With PTI inputs)