Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], April 5 (ANI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Karuppa Palaniswami has expressed confidence that his party, the AIADMK, would emerge victorious in the assembly elections on April 6.
Born in Edappadi town of Salem district in Tamil Nadu, Palaniswami began his career in politics with AIADMK in 1974. He was born on May 12, 1954. His father Karuppa Gounder and mother Thavasiyammal were both farmers by profession. He hails from the influential Gounder community. However, after completing his schooling, he got enrolled in college but could not complete the course due to personal reasons.
As years passed by, Palaniswami showed keen interest in state politics. It is in 1974 when he decided to join the AIADMK party. With each passing day, he started gaining popularity in his district.
He was elected to Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly in 1989. He continued to climb up the ladder by being elected again in 1991, 2011 and 2016 from the Edappadi constituency. He also won the 1998 election and was elected as Member of Parliament, representing Tiruchengodu constituency in the 12th Lok Sabha.
As a grass-roots level worker, Palaniswami's growth in the party has been steady. He played an important role in the 2016 assembly elections. The Gounder community was a significant factor in the 2016 assembly polls. Jayalalithaa was likely facing anti-incumbency and it is believed that the support of the Gounder community brought many votes in her favour. In Palaniswami's Salem district, the party had won in 10 of 11 assembly segments.
He later became the Minister of Highways and Minor Ports in former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's regime.
After former CM Jayalalithaa's demise in December 2016, then AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala appointed O Panneerselvam (who was the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu) to take over the reins as a Chief Minister. However, in February 2017, due to troubled relations, Sasikala removed Panneerselvam from the party. As the need for CM got intensified, the party workers along with Sasikala mutually decided to appoint Edappadi as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The same month, later, Sasikala was convicted in a disproportionate assets case.
Ahead of this year's assembly polls, Palaniswami has filed his nomination from his native Edappadi constituency. He has been declared the chief ministerial candidate of the AIADMK-led alliance.
Ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is contesting the poll in a pre-poll alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). MK Stalin's Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has joined hands with Congress. This time actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan's party Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) is also in the fray.
Tamil Nadu assembly elections will be held in a single phase on April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2. (ANI)