Since the death of charismatic leader J Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu’s political stage has been marked by high drama. From revolts, alleged abductions to theatrical tributes at the dead leader’s memorial, the past few months have seen it all.
On Saturday, Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswami won a dramatic trust vote after opposition DMK legislators were thrown out for unprecedented violence during the assembly session. Palaniswami won by 122 votes to 11 after speaker P Dhanapal twice adjourned the House within a couple of hours when DMK legislators broke furniture and microphones, threw papers and even occupied his chair.
His victory meant that Panneerselvam’s revolt against Sasikala – a long-time confidante of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa – has failed and his dreams of holding on to the top job gone, at least for the time being. He was the ‘caretaker’ chief minister, taking over the reins of power soon after the announcement of Jayalalithaa’s death at Apollo hospital on December 5.
HT brings you a timeline to help make sense of the sequence of events that took place in the state since Jayalalithaa’s death:
December 5, 2016: J Jayalalithaa dies at Chennai’s Apollo Hospital at the age of 68 after suffering a cardiac arrest. O Panneerselvam, popularly known as OPS, is swiftly sworn in as chief minister.
December 29: Sasikala is appointed the general secretary of AIADMK after the party’s general council unanimously passed a resolution.
February 5: OPS resigns as the CM for “personal reasons.” Sasikala elected as head of the legislative party, makes plans to form the government the next day. Governor C Vidyasagar Rao accepts OPS’ resignation, but orders that he continues holding the post until a new CM is elected.
February 6: Plans to elect Sasikala as CM is postponed, as governor Rao says he is unable to attend the ceremony due to scheduling issues.
February 7: OPS meditates for 40 minutes next to Jayalalithaa’s memorial. He then makes startling revelations to reporters as he says he “was forced to resign,”
February 9: OPS camp gets a huge boost after senior leader E Madhusudhanan, the party’s presidium chairperson, joins them.
February 10: Sasikala takes 129 MLAs and keeps them at Golden Bay resort to prevent any defections to OPS’ side.
February 14: Sasikala is convicted in the DA case and sentenced to 4 years in jail. Edappadi K Palaniswami appointed head of the legislature party and expels OPS from AIADMK.
February 18: Palaniswami wins floor trust vote amid high drama in the Assembly