Chennai: E. Palaniswami, a loyalist of the jailed AIADMK General Secretary V.K. Sasikala, on Thursday took oath as the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao administered the oath of office and secrecy to Palaniswamy and his 30 ministers at the Raj Bhavan.
Palaniswami, a farmer by profession, succeeds O. Panneerselvam, who became Chief Minister after the December 5 death of J. Jayalalithaa. He is the third person to occupy the top post in the last nine months.
Palaniswami was elected AIADMK party leader in the Tamil Nadu Assembly in a meeting called hours after the Supreme Court of India convicted Sasikala in a 9-year old corruption case.
Palaniswami was invited by the Governor today to form the government after he submitted a list of 124 MLAs supporting him last night. He has 15 days to prove his majority in the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly.
Palaniswami has retained the crucial Finance Ministry he had in the outgoing government of O. Panneerselvam, whose attempt to foil Sasikala's attempt to be the Chief Minister triggered an ugly war in the AIADMK.
Palaniswami retained the portfolios of Public Works, Highways and Minor Ports he held in the earlier government.
Along with Palaniswami, 30 other AIADMK MLAs took oath as ministers.
A Raj Bhavan statement said senior party leaders C. Sreenivasan and K.A. Sengottaiyan have been designated as Minister for Forests and Minister for School Education and Sports and Youth Welfare.
P. Thangamani will be in charge of Electricity, Prohibition and Excise.
The other ministers are: K. Raju, S.P. Velumani, D. Jayakumar, C.Ve. Shanmugam, K.P. Anbalagan, V. Saroja, M.C. Sampath, K.C. Karuppanan, R. Kamaraj, O.S. Manian, K. Radhakrishnan, C. Vijaya Baskar, R. Doraikkannu, Kadambur Raju, R.B. Udhayakumar, N. Natarajan, K.C. Veeramani, K.T. Rajenthra Bhalaji, P. Benjamin, Nilofer Kafeel, M.R. Vijayabaskar, M. Manikandan, V.M. Rajjalakshmi, G. Baskaran, S. Ramachandran, S. Valarmathi and P. Balakrishna Reddy.