Date Of Birth: 1951-01, Occupation: Politician » O. Paneer Selvam is the Finance Minister and a former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, India. Prior to his entry into politics, he owned agricultural lands and a tea shop which he still owns. He was the chairman of Periakulam municipality in 1996. Then he contested the 2001 MLA election from Periakulam and become the PWD minister. He is the first person from Thevar caste to become the CM of Tamil Nadu; though he got this posting only because of his loyalty to Jayalalitha and not due to seniority. He was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in September 2001 after the appointment of the then Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party chief J. Jayalalithaa was quashed by the Supreme Court of India. In March 2002, he resigned as Chief Minister and J. Jayalalithaa was sworn in after the Supreme Court overturned her conviction and sentence and she won a by-election from Andipatti assembly constituency. During his stint as Chief Minister, he was widely criticized of heading a puppet government closely micro-managed by Jayalalithaa.
After his resignation he became the Public Works Department minister in the Jayalalithaa government. O. Paneer Selvam was the leader of the AIADMK legislative party and the Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly for about two weeks, after the party lost the assembly elections in May 2006. In that election he was elected to be the member of Tamil Nadu legislative assembly from Periyakulam. After all the AIADMK legislators were suspended by the speaker of the house, Jayalalithaa who had decided not to attend the Legislative Assembly decided to return and replaced O. Paneer Selvam as the Leader of the Opposition. He has been twice elected to the Tamil Nadu assembly from Periyakulam constituency. His confidants affectionately call him, with his initials, 'OPS'.