A day after the two rival factions of the AIADMK set aside their differences and joined hands, 22 MLAs supporting the party deputy general secretary, TTV Dinakaran, met Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao at the Raj Bhavan and withdrew their support from Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami’s government.
After DMK working president M K Stalin wrote to the Governor seeking a floor test, 15 of the 19 Dinakaran loyalists are now being shifted to two hotels in Puducherry. In signs of further trouble for the unified AIADMK, 10 more MLAs are likely to switch loyalties and join the Dinakaran camp.
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AIADMK crisis highlights:
5:30 pm: That’s all the updates we have now on this story.
4:50 pm: So there are reports that a no-confidence motion can be called only in October because the last one was called in April. Six months have to lapse between two motions. So that gives a lot of time for the AIADMK to recalibrate its moves and find ways on how it can get out of this mess.
4:30 pm: Phone numbers of the MLAs loyal to Dhinakaran are being shared on Twitter so as to tell people to call them up and tell them to work. A repeat of the Koovathur resort episode has to be prevented, say people on Twitter.
4.00 pm: Meanwhile, sources in the BJP told The Indian Express that AIADMK has been offered 3 ministerial berths at the Centre. They could either be two Cabinet and one MoS or one Cabinet and two MoS positions.
2.40 pm: BREAKING | 10 more MLAs likely to join TTV camp, sources in both camps confirm.
With the unified AIADMK numbers already down to just 114 MLAs, three short of the majority mark, these defections will bring down their numbers further. Here is how the numbers stack up, click here for more
2.30 pm: Remember the drama at the Golden Bay resort where a majority of the AIADMK flock were shifted to earlier this year? Well, it appears we are going to have a repeat of that as two hotels, Aruna Inn and Le Pondy, have been booked for the 15 MLAs’ (Dinakaran faction) stay in Puducherry.
2.10 pm: After MK Stalin demanded a floor test, at least 15 of the 19 MLAs backing TTV Dinakaran are being shifted to Puducherry. Dinakaran’s staunch loyalists, however, are staying back in Chennai, including Vetrivel, S Balaji and Thangatamilchelvan. Meanwhile, CM Palaniswami is meeting O Panneerselvam.
2.00 pm: Meanwhile, DMK working president M K Stalin wrote to Governor Vidyasagar Rao, demanding that Palaniswami must immediately prove his majority in the assembly.
“Any inordinate delay in asking the Chief Minister to prove his majority in the instant case will pave the way for continuance of an unconstitutional government and it will destabilise the democratic norms and precedents established in demonstrating the confidence of the House. It will also give room for evil practice of horse trading occurred when the incumbent Chief Minister proved his majority on an earlier confidence motion,” Stalin wrote.
— Arun Janardhanan (@arunjei) August 22, 2017
1.30 pm: How do the numbers stack up so far? The 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly has been reduced to 233 members after the demise of Jayalithaa in December last year. While AIADMK had won 134 seats in the 2016 assembly elections, they went on to win two more in the subsequent by-elections. Their numbers stand at 134 at the moment, excluding the House Speaker and Jayalalithaa. This means: Palaniswami has 104 MLAs on his side, Panneerselvam has 10 and Dinakaran 20. A unified AIADMK has only 114 MLAs, three short of the 117 majority mark.
1.00 pm: Meanwhile, Dinkaran sacks AIADMK MP Vaithilingam, according to news agency ANI. On Monday, Vaithilingam said that Sasikala will be removed from the party soon.
12.30 pm: “In the wake of 22 MLAs withdrawing support for CM, we demand for a no-confidence motion,” M K Stalin told reporters.
12.15 pm: PM Modi, who delivered an anti-corruption speech on August 15 ,has helped to merge two corrupt factions in Tamil Nadu and blessed them too, says Opposition leader and DMK working president M K Stalin.
12.05 pm Sources told The Indian Express that the Dinakaran camp wants Palaniswami to invite them for talks and avoid taking any action against general secretary Palaniswami.
12.00 pm: With the MLAs officially withdrawing their support to Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami, it will be interesting to see whether the Governor calls for a floor test.
11.40 am: Here are excerpts of the petition (accessed by The News Minute) submitted by the Dinakaran loyalists to the Governor.
“I hereby express my lack of confidence on Mr. Edappadi K Palaniswami and withdraw my earlier support given to him vide this communication. I hereby submit that I have not given up my membership of the AIADMK and I am only doing my duty as a conscious citizen to express the abuse and misuse of the Constitution provision.”
“Mr Edappadi Palaniswami is corrupt and encouraging corruption at several levels, which is also causing severe damage to the name of the party,” states the petitions.
“In the first week of August 2017, Mr O Panneerselvam had given a press statement saying that the present Tamil Nadu government is totally filled with corrupt practices. But within a span of two weeks, the Chief Minister had included Panneerselvam as the Deputy CM. This reveals their favouritism, abuse of power and misusing of government machinery to cover up their corrupt practices.”
11.20 am: The Tamil Nadu Assembly has been reduced to 233 members after the death of J Jayalalithaa. If DMK working president M K Stalin moves a no confidence motion in the House, the AIADMK government would need at least the support of 117 MLAs to prove majority.
11.00 am: The 19 AIADMK MLAs will submit a memorandum to Governor Vidyasagar Rao stating they have lost their faith in Edapaddi Palaniswami, a leader they elected six months ago, and will demand their removal.
10.50 am: Dinakaran, in a series of tweets, hit out at the merger and claimed the AIADMK cadre will never accept the removal of V K Sasikala as general secretary. “What happened was not a merger. It was a business deal for the gain of certain individuals and to help them retain posts. The cadre will never accept their move to remove the General Secretary. They betrayed the General Secretary who made Edappadi Palaniswami the Chief Minister,” he said.
10.40 am: Two hours after the two rival factions struck a merger deal, the 18 MLAs who sided with Dinakaran arrived at Jayalalithaa’s memorial at Marina Beach and meditated for around 15 minutes.
— ANI (@ANI) August 22, 2017