If Dhinakaran can claim the support of more than 17 MLAs, he could topple the government.

The numbers game in Tamil Nadu Can TTV Dhinakaran pull down the govt
news Politics Monday, August 21, 2017 - 15:46

As the two warring factions of the AIADMK announce a merger, ‘ousted’ Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran could very well play spoiler and bring down the Edappadi Palaniswami-led government.

On February 18, Palaniswami had won the trust vote with the strength of 122 MLAs. 11 MLAs, who were in rebel O Panneerselvam’s faction, had voted against the confidence motion.  

Will EPS have to face another trust vote?

This, of course, depends on the number of legislators TTV Dhinakaran has on his side.

While he paraded 20 MLAs at his Melur rally last week, TTV went on to claim that he had more “sleeper cell” MLAs in the EPS camp. On Monday, Dhinakaran held a meeting at his Adyar residence in Chennai, with at least 18 MLAs showing up.

So, in the event of another floor test, EPS will need a simple majority of the members present and voting – that is, one vote over the halfway mark of the number of MLAs participating in the motion. In case of a tie, the Speaker casts his vote.

The TN Assembly has 234 legislators, but with late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's demise the number comes down to 233. This makes the magic number 117.

The AIADMK had won 134 seats in the 2016 Assembly Elections and then won 2 more in bye-elections in November 2016. With Jayalalithaa's demise, this comes to 135. Excluding the Speaker, the AIADMK numbers further come down to 134.

If TTV has the support of more than 17 MLAs, this would be enough to bring down the EPS government. This is because even with legislators from the OPS camp, who presently has 10 MLAs, the Edappadi Palaniswami government will still fall short of the magic number of 117.

Here are the numbers based on TTV Dhinakaran’s Melur Rally:

Edappadi Palaniswami: 104

O Panneerselvam: 10

TTV Dhinakaran: 20

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