TN political crisis: All eyes on Sasikala loyalist Palanisamy to prove majority

| Updated: Feb 16, 2017 20:18 IST

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb. 16 (ANI): In a major jolt to caretaker chief minister O. Panneerselvam, Tamil Nadu Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao has appointed AIADMK legislature party leader Edappadi K. Palanisamy as the Chief Minister. He will be sworn-in at the Raj Bhawan at 4 p.m. today. The Governor has, however, asked Palanisamy to prove his majority in 15 days on the floor of the Tamil Nadu Assembly. While Palanisamy and those loyal to V.K. Sasikala have been claiming to have the support of 126 MLAs, the Panneerselvam camp has insisted that if the MLAs are allowed to go out of Golden Bay resorts then they would switch sides. The ultimate test of their claims will be held in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. If Palanisamy can prove his majority, he will remain the Chief Minister until the next elections. But if he fails the floor test, the political game in Tamil Nadu will be on yet again. Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal will now have to convene a session after Palanisamy is sworn-in. Once the session is convened, one member will have to move a no-confidence motion and the motion must be seconded by at least one other person. Once the motion is passed, it can be followed by a debate and then a division of votes. The Speaker can either decide to take a voice vote (where MLAs shout 'Aye' or 'No') or he can ask them to stand for their vote and count the heads. The present strength of the Tamil Nadu Assembly after late chief minister J. Jayalalithaa's demise is 234. If more than half the number of MLAs is present and voting defeats the no-confidence motion, Palanisamy will remain the Chief Minister. If the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) remains in the House, that number will be 118. If the opposition party decides to abstain, Palanisamy will need 74 MLAs to prove his majority. In case the 'ayes and noes' are in equal number, the role of the Speaker becomes extremely crucial because he will then be able to cast his vote for either side. Meanwhile, Panneerselvam has said that they would continue with their 'dharm yudh' until Jayalalithaa's rule is established. "We will not let the party (AIADMK) go into the hands of few of V.K Sasikala's family members," Panneerselvam said. (ANI)