Edapaddi Palaniswami will be sworn in as the new chief minister of Tamil Nadu on Thursday, the Raj Bhavan said, potentially ending a bitter power struggle that had pushed the ruling AIADMK to the verge of a split.
He has been asked to prove his majority within 15 days.
A Raj Bhavan communique said governor C Vidyasagar Rao has invited Palaniswami, 62, to form the government. AIADMK sources said the swearing is likely at about 5 pm.
The governor’s decision came a day after AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala was sent to jail after the Supreme Court convicted her in a 20-year-old corruption case.
The invitation to Palaniswami also dashed the hopes of acting chief minister O Panneerselvam who had launched a high-stakes revolt against Sasikala, just days after resigning as legislature party leader, to pave the way for her to take the top job.
The governor’s decision was announced shortly after he met Palaniswami at the Raj Bhavan.
Sources said the governor was convinced by Palaniswami’s claim of enjoying the support of 124 MLAs.
Palaniswami was elected as the legislature party leader by Sasikala after the top court verdict left her with no other option but surrender which she did in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Sasikala, a former video rental shop owner who became former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s most-trusted aide, will serve a four-year sentence.