Edappadi K Palaniswami is the current Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Palaniswami was appointed the leader of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)’s legislature party immediately after the Supreme Court convicted Sasikala in a longstanding disproportionate assets case.
Palaniswami's political career began in 1974 when he joined the AIADMK. He has won four assembly elections from the Edappadi constituency—in 1989, 1991, 2011 and 2016. He won the Tiruchengode Lok Sabha seat in 1998. Palaniswami rose fast through the party ranks to become a key aide of Jayalalithaa. He was the second most powerful Cabinet minister -- after O Paneerselvam -- in Jayalalithaa’s Cabinet. He has held the portfolios of Public Works Department and Highways and Minor Ports since then.
After Jayalalithaa's death, Palaniswami sided with the Sasikala faction as the AIADMK was in the throes of a succession war. Eventually, he became CM as the feud with O Paneerselvam came to an end. Paneerselvam was given the office of Deputy CM.
AIADMK has allied with the Bharatiya Janata Party for the Lok Sabha elections 2019. Palaniswami made it clear at the outset that his party would call the shots in the coalition. He is a Gounder -- a community that holds considerable importance for the AIADMK. in 2011, it was the solid support of western Tamil Nadu with the Gounder community that helped Jayalalithaa win the assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. AIADMK won 10 of the 11 constituencies in Palaniswami's district.