Panneerselvam, born in 1951, was the owner of agricultural lands and a tea stall. His journey from the tea shop to state ministry began in 1996, when he became the chairman of TN's Periakulam municipality, which later became his constituency after contesting in the 2001 elections and became Public Works Department Minister.
O Panneerselvam’s tea shop still runs on Theni Road in Periyakulam.
The shop does not have a nameplate but it is very well known in the area for the taste it serves.
In the 80’s he handed it over to his brother O raja, who renamed it after his daughter Rosie.
O Paneerselvam joined politics, firstly he became a local panchayat head and later, an MLA.The man is known as staunch Jayalalithaa loyalist.
Jayalithaa, who was forced to step down twice in 2001-2014 due to corruption charges, chose him as interim CM.
After the demise of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, O Pannerselvam was sworn in as the 20th CM of the state.