It's a test of survival for Edappadi Palaniswami as the Tamil Nadu Assembly will hold a trust motion at 11 am on Saturday.
So, what are the numbers that the two-day-old Chief Minister needs to prove majority in the House? To win the floor test, Edappadi Palaniswami would need a simple majority on the members present and voting – that is half plus one vote, of the number of MLAs participating in the motion. In case of a tie, the Speaker casts his vote.
TN Assembly has 234 legislators, but with Jayalalithaa's demise the number comes down to 233.
Overnight, MLA Arun Kumar from Coimbatore has dropped out of the Sasikala camp, and has announced that he will refrain from voting. Arun Kumar, who had been at the Kuvathur resort, said on Saturday morning that he will abstain.
Ailing DMK President M Karunanidhi is also likely to sit out on the floor test. Further, reports suggest that IUML's lone MLA will also boycott the vote of confidence.
So, this brings the number of the assembly down to 229 votes, excluding the Speaker. The magic number then comes down to 115 for Palaniswami.
But, if the IUML MLA comes to the assembly and then abstains, the available strength of the house is 230 and 116 is the magic number.
Palaniswami and team claim they have the support of 123 MLAs, while the rival O Panneerselvam faction say they have 11 MLAs including the former CM.
Opposition DMK has 88 legislators who will vote against Palaniswami, while its ally the Congress with 8 MLAs has been issued instructions from Rahul Gandhi to vote against the trust motion.
Though OPS has asked for a secret ballot, it will most likely not be one. We explain why here.