Raju, a Chennai cab driver was quoted by HT as saying, "OPS has a clean image in politics. And he is a simple man and has handled the administration well after the death of Jayalalithaa. Why should he be removed when he is doing well?"
Panneerselvam's popularity had soared last month when he had successfully negotiated with the Centre to bypass the court ban on Jallikattu, the cult bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu. The ban had resulted in widespread protests throughout the state in the month of January.
People had also lauded his administrative skills after he had handled the Vardah cyclone crisis well.
"You cannot find a better loyalist to Jayalalithaa than Panneerselvam. Sasikala might be closer to Amma, but has no respect among the people," said Raju.
After the Supreme Court sent Sasikala to the prison for four years in a two-decade old disproportionate assets case on Tuesday, Palaniswami was elected leader of the AIADMK legislature party.
Sasikala played a masterstroke for keeping her bete noire Panneerselvam away from power by staging a high voltage drama by confining over 100 MLAs in a luxury resort, ensuring that Palaniswami had the necessary numbers to stake claim for forming the government.
Panneerselvam had assumed power after the demise of AIADMK chief and chief minister Jayalalithaa due to cardiac arrest in December last year.
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