The leader of Tamil Nadu’s opposition MK Stalin has shot a letter to the governor demanding a floor test to prove E Palaniswami’s majority in the assembly.

The DMK chief wrote this letter after alleging that 22 rebel MLAs from AIADMK, nineteen from TTV Dhinakaran’s faction and three independent MLAs, expressed lack of confidence on Chief Minister Eppadi K Palaniswami.

He said that this move had caused an unprecedented constitutional crisis in the state since the Palaniswami government is now in the minority.

The combined AIADMK had 133 members of the 234-member strong Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. This came down to 114 after 19 rebel AIADMK members withdrew support from Palaniswami today before the governor. This is three below the magical number of 117 required to maintain a majority in the assembly. 

It is speculated that three MLAs in the party are silent supporters of Sasikala and will probably pass a no-confidence motion against Palaniswami in the assembly. This further takes down the number to 111. The government will fall.

EPS has one way to maintain a majority, and that is to lure the Congress MLAs from the opposition. The opposition comprises of 98 MLAs which includes 89 DMK MLAs and 9 Congress MLAs. If Palaniswami can lure six Congressmen, only then he can maintain the majority in the assembly and prevent the government from falling.

EPS can also ask the ‘whip’ of the party to issue an ultimatum to the rebel MLAs to stick to the party’s stand in the Assembly. If the rebel MLAs continue to defy the whip, AIADMK can disqualify them from being party members. However, this will again result in them falling short of the required majority numbers.

The rebel members, however, claim that they do not want the AIADMK government to fall. Their only claim is to remove E Palaniswami from the Chief Minister’s post since he has been allegedly misusing his power for his own benefits like the re-appointment of O Panneerselvam. And therefore even if they move a no-confidence vote against Palaniswami in the assembly, the government may not fall after all.