The Numbers Game: Can TTV Take the EPS-OPS Govt Down?

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

On 18 February, 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.

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This, of course, depends on the number of legislators TTV Dhinakaran has on his side. While he paraded 20 MLAs during his Melur rally last week, TTV went on to claim that he had more “sleeper cell” MLAs in the EPS camp.

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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 under Jayalalithaa had won 136 seats in the 2016 Assembly Elections. With her 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

(The story was first published on The News Minute)

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