Most exit polls for the Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha Election have predicted that the DMK will win a majority of the 38 seats that went to polls on April 18. But for political parties in the state, it is the results of the bye-elections to the 22 constituencies that will be more keenly watched. This because the results can bring down the AIADMK government in the state.
TNM breaks down the numbers for you and presents three scenarios.
The strength of the Tamil Nadu Assembly: 234
Majority mark: 118
The present strength of the House:
The AIADMK on paper needs to win 5 seats in the bye-elections. But three sitting MLAs of the party- E Rathinasabapathy, VT Kalaiselvan and A Prabhu- are with TTV Dhinakaran and were recently issued disqualification notices by Speaker P Dhanapal. The notices were stayed by the Supreme Court.
It seems unlikely that Edappadi Palaniswami is counting on these three MLAs to support him in the event of a trust vote. Karunas, U Thaniyarasu and Thamimun Ansari, who had contested on the two-leaves symbol, are presently fence sitters. This raises the stakes even higher, with the AIADMK needing to win at least 11 out of the 22 seats to retain majority.
Stalin may have a shot at the Chief Minister’s chair if the DMK wins at least 21 out of the 22 seats.
Scenario 3- And most likely
But the DMK is also looking at another formula, in case it doesn’t sweep the bye-elections. “This govt is on tenterhooks, if we get 15 seats,” said a source close to Stalin. So, if the DMK wins just 15 out of 22 seats, they are counting on the support of TTV Dhinakaran, the three rebel AIADMK legislators and the three other MLAs (Karunas, U Thaniyarasu and Thamimun Ansari) to vote against the AIADMK government.
However, with TTV and his MLAs not expected to support Stalin to become Chief Minister, the DMK is looking at re-election.
“Once we cross 15, it becomes interesting and it’s a matter of time,” added the source. In such a scenario, the state would definitely look at a re-election.