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Why the AIADMK Govt in Tamil Nadu is on Shaky Ground

File photo of Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswami and  DMK chief O Panneerselvam. (PTI Photo)

File photo of Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswami and DMK chief O Panneerselvam. (PTI Photo)

While the merging of the Edapaddi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam gave some respite to the EPS government, it may not be enough to save the government if it comes to a floor test.

New Delhi: It’s a split-wide-open in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) as the merged factions of the party have decided to remove VK Sasikala from the post of General Secretary of the party. This prompted Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dinakaran, who forms the third faction of the AIADMK, to raise the banner of revolt.

While the merging of the Edapaddi Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam gave some respite to the EPS government, it may not be enough to save the government if it comes to a floor test. Here’s why the Tamil Nadu government is on shaky ground and fresh elections may be in the offing for the Southern bellwether state.

The Tamil Nadu assembly is a 234-member assembly and to be in government, the AIADMK requires the votes of 117 MLAs on the floor of the house. In the 2016 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, the AIADMK fought the election under Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and won a second consecutive term by getting 134 seats. The DMK, the main opposition party, improved its 2011 tally and won 89 seats.

Since the death of J Jayalalithaa nine months ago, the party has seen multiple splits and mergers, two Chief Ministers and even a floor test. On Tuesday, when Dinakaran criticized the party’s move to remove Sasikala from her post, he claimed he had the support of 21 MLAs. The EPS and OPS factions have the support of 103 and 10 MLAs respectively. Together, with 113 MLAs, they are four short of the magic number.

Last month, DMK leader MK Stalin had written a letter to the state’s Governor requesting a floor test. After the EPS and OPS factions of the AIADMK decided to merge, Stalin wrote, “As a leader of Opposition, I request the Hon’ble Governor to direct Thiru Edapadi K Palaniswami to prove his majority in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly immediately.”

If the Governor obliges Stalin’s request, the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu may be in trouble.

THE NUMBERS GAME

TOTAL SEATS: 234

MAGIC NUMBER: 117

EPS FACTION: 103

OPS FACTION: 10

DINAKARAN FACTION: 21

DMK: 89

CONGRESS: 8

INDIAN UNION MUSLIM LEAGUE: 1