Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president MK Stalin on Tuesday wrote to Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao seeking a floor test in the Assembly. Citing an “unprecedented constitutional crisis”, he said the present government under Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami has lost majority in the House. While the two factions of the AIADMK, one under the Chief Minister and the other under former CM O Panneerselvam, merged on Monday, a third rival unit claiming loyalty to TTV Dinakaran has revolted against the party.
In his letter to the Governor, Stalin, the Leader of Opposition, stated: “As a leader of Opposition, I request the Hon’ble Governor to direct Thiru Edapadi K Palaniswami to prove his majority in the Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly immediately.”
Dinakaran and his MLAs are contesting the government’s decision to remove VK Sasikala from her post as general secretary of the party — Dinakaran is Sasikala’s nephew. They are threatening to approach the Governor with a memorandum stating that they have lost faith in the government under Palaniswami. Read: 20 MLAs behind him, TTV Dinakaran to first target CM, meet Governor
In the case of the floor test, will the AIADMK be able to make up the numbers and remain in power?
In the 234-member Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly, which was reduced to 233 after the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa and the cancellation of the RK Nagar by-polls, the AIADMK needs at least 117 votes to remain in power. Right now, the two-leaf party has 134 seats in the Assembly, excluding the House Speaker’s and Jayalalithaa’s. However, while Palaniswami claims to have 104 MLAs on his side and Panneerselvam 10, Dinakaran has at least 22 including three Independent MLAs, and his numbers are likely to shoot up.
The two warring factions of the AIADMK, under EPS and OPS, currently have only 114 votes, three short of what is needed to remain in power.
Here is Stalin’s complete letter to the Governor:
— Arun Janardhanan (@arunjei) August 22, 2017