Second longest term as CM

Ms. Jayalalithaa has remained in power for 14 years and three months.File Photo: R. RaguR_RAGU  

Jayalalithaa has remained at the helm of affairs in the State for a little over 14 years to serve the second longest term as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Ms. Jayalalithaa has remained in power for 14 years and three months (June 1991 – May 1996; May 2001 – September 2001; March 2002 – May 2006; May 2011 – September 2014; May 2015 to May 2016, and May 2016 till now).

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi has the distinction of being the Chief Minister for the longest duration of about 19 years spread over five terms.

MGR’s wife V. N. Janaki has the distinction of being the Chief Minister for the shortest tenure of just 24 days in 1988.

Omandur Ramaswami Reddiar was the Chief Minister of the then Madras Presidency, when India got Independence. In the 1949 Congress Legislature Party election, K. Kamaraj supported P. S. Kumaraswamy Raja. Reddiar lost the election and quit as Chief Minister. He was in power for two years (March 1947 to April 1949).

Kumaraswamy Raja served as Chief Minister of Madras Presidency for two years (April 1949 to April 1952) till the first general elections were held in the country.

In the general elections, the Congress could not win a majority. Though Kamaraj did not favour a minority government in the State, he bowed to the pressure of senior leaders. He was of the firm belief that veteran like Rajaji alone will be able steer a minority government successfully. Rajaji later became an MLC and third Chief Minister of Madras Presidency. Rajaji quit the post following dissent within the Congress for his ‘Kula Kalvi Thittam’. Rajaji remained in power for two years (April 1952 to April 1954).

Kamaraj succeeded Rajaji and steered Congress to victory in the 1957 and 1962 elections. When Kamaraj quit to strengthen the party in 1963 under his own “K-Plan”, he had ruled the State for nine years and five months (April 1954 to October 1963).

M. Bakthavathsalam succeeded Kamaraj and ruled the State for three years and five months (October 1963 to March 1967).

The 1967 general elections proved a turning point with DMK capturing power in the State. C. N. Annadurai became the first DMK Chief Minister and remained in power for two years (March 1967 to February 1969).

Karunanidhi, who succeeded Anna, wrote a new chapter in the political history of Tamil Nadu, by becoming Chief Minister on five occasions (February 1969 – January 1976; January 1989 – January 1991; May 1996 – May 2001; May 2006 – May 2011). Karunanidhi-led DMK Cabinet was dismissed twice by the Centre – in January 1976 and in January 1991.

MGR’s AIADMK captured power in the 1977 election and he was elected Chief Minister on three occasions. His government was dismissed by the Centre in early 1980. MGR returned to power within a few months and was installed as Chief Minister for the second term on June 9, 1980. He was elected Chief Minister for the third time in the 1984 elections and remained in power till his death in December 1987. MGR occupied the Chief Minister’s seat for about ten years and five months (June 1977 – February 1980; June 1980 – November 1984; February 1985 – December 1987).

MGR’s widow V. N. Janaki could remain in power for just 24 days (January 7 – 30, 1988), before her government was dismissed.

O. Panneerselvam was the Chief Minister of the State for about 13 months (September 2001 to March 2002; and September 2014 to May 2015).