Edappadi K. Palaniswami is a prominent Indian politician who served as the 25th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu from 2017 to 2021. He is a member of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), one of the major political parties in the state of Tamil Nadu. Palaniswami’s political career spans over three decades, during which he held several positions of responsibility within the AIADMK.
Early Life and Education:
Edappadi K. Palaniswami was born on May 12, 1954, in a small village called Edappadi in Salem district, Tamil Nadu. He was born into a family of farmers, and he completed his early education in the local government school. Later, he graduated from the Government Arts College in Salem with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After completing his graduation, he worked as a clerk in the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation for a brief period.
Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s political career began in the late 1970s when he joined the AIADMK, which was then led by the charismatic leader, M.G. Ramachandran. Palaniswami was a devoted follower of MGR, and he worked tirelessly to strengthen the party’s base in Salem district. In 1985, he was elected as a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from the Edappadi constituency, which he has represented ever since.
Over the years, Palaniswami rose through the ranks of the AIADMK, holding various positions within the party. He served as the party’s Salem district secretary and later as the Salem district unit secretary of the AIADMK. In 2011, he was appointed as the Minister for Highways and Minor Ports in the Jayalalithaa-led government. He was subsequently given additional charge of the portfolio of Rural Development and Local Administration in 2014.
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu:
In 2016, Jayalalithaa, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, fell ill and was admitted to the hospital. Palaniswami, who was one of her trusted lieutenants, played a key role in managing the affairs of the government during her absence. However, Jayalalithaa passed away on December 5, 2016, leaving a leadership vacuum in the AIADMK.
After Jayalalithaa’s death, a power struggle broke out within the AIADMK, with two factions vying for control of the party. The first faction was led by O. Panneerselvam, who had served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on two previous occasions. The second faction was led by Sasikala Natarajan, a close confidante of Jayalalithaa.
Initially, Palaniswami was seen as a supporter of Sasikala’s faction. However, in February 2017, he switched sides and pledged his allegiance to the Panneerselvam faction. This move proved crucial in the ensuing power struggle, as Palaniswami was able to rally support from a significant number of AIADMK MLAs.
On February 16, 2017, Palaniswami was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, succeeding Panneerselvam. He was able to win a vote of confidence in the state assembly a few days later, thereby cementing his position as the Chief Minister.
Accomplishments as Chief Minister:
During his tenure as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K. Palaniswami initiated several development projects and schemes aimed at improving the lives of the people of Tamil Nadu. Here are some of his major accomplishments as Chief Minister:
- Kudimaramathu Scheme: The Kudimaramathu Scheme was launched in 2017 with the aim of rejuvenating waterbodies in Tamil Nadu. Under the scheme, the government mobilized local communities to undertake desilting and cleaning of waterbodies with the help of government funds. The scheme was a huge success and over 5,000 waterbodies were rejuvenated, leading to an increase in groundwater levels and the availability of water for irrigation.
- Amma Two-Wheeler Scheme: The Amma Two-Wheeler Scheme was launched in 2018 with the aim of providing women with easy access to two-wheelers. Under the scheme, women who completed their Class VIII education were eligible to receive a subsidy of up to 50% on the cost of a two-wheeler. The scheme was a huge success and over 1.5 million two-wheelers were sold under the scheme.
- Tamil Nadu Industrial Policy 2019: The Tamil Nadu Industrial Policy 2019 aimed to attract investment and create job opportunities in the state. The policy emphasized the development of MSMEs, the promotion of innovation, and the creation of a conducive environment for businesses. The policy has led to several investments in the state, including a major investment by Foxconn in a new manufacturing unit.
- Construction of New Medical Colleges: In 2019, the government announced the construction of 11 new medical colleges in the state. The move was aimed at increasing access to healthcare and creating job opportunities in the medical sector. The new medical colleges are expected to be operational by 2022.
- Free Bus Pass Scheme for Students: The government introduced the Free Bus Pass Scheme for Students in 2019. Under the scheme, all students studying in government and government-aided schools and colleges were eligible to receive a free bus pass. The scheme aimed to increase access to education and reduce the financial burden on students.
Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s tenure as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu was marked by several development initiatives aimed at improving the lives of the people of the state. His leadership during the turbulent times following the death of Jayalalithaa played a crucial role in stabilizing the AIADMK and ensuring continuity in governance. Palaniswami’s focus on infrastructure development, job creation, and social welfare schemes has helped improve the lives of millions of people in Tamil Nadu.
frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Edappadi K. Palaniswami:
- Who is Edappadi K. Palaniswami?
Edappadi K. Palaniswami is an Indian politician and the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. He served as the Chief Minister from February 2017 to May 2021.
- What is Edappadi K. Palaniswami known for?
Edappadi K. Palaniswami is known for his leadership during the turbulent times following the death of J. Jayalalithaa, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. He is also known for several development initiatives and welfare schemes aimed at improving the lives of the people of Tamil Nadu.
- What are some of Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s major achievements as Chief Minister?
Some of Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s major achievements as Chief Minister include the Kudimaramathu Scheme, the Amma Two-Wheeler Scheme, the Tamil Nadu Industrial Policy 2019, the construction of new medical colleges, and the Free Bus Pass Scheme for Students.
- What political party does Edappadi K. Palaniswami belong to?
Edappadi K. Palaniswami belongs to the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), a regional political party in Tamil Nadu.
- When did Edappadi K. Palaniswami become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu?
Edappadi K. Palaniswami became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 16th February 2017 following the resignation of O. Panneerselvam.
- Why did Edappadi K. Palaniswami resign as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu?
Edappadi K. Palaniswami did not resign as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. His tenure as Chief Minister ended on 7th May 2021 following the defeat of his party in the 2021 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly elections.
- What is Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s educational background?
Edappadi K. Palaniswami holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
- What is Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s current political position?
Edappadi K. Palaniswami is currently a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly representing the Edappadi constituency. He is also the joint coordinator of the AIADMK.