Ahead of the state’s Assembly elections this summer, 10 MLAs from Tamil Nadu resigned from their parties on Sunday and are expected to join Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s party, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Eight of the rebel MLAs were from Vijayakanth’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam, knocking him off the Leader of Opposition post. A leader needs 24 MLAs to be declared the Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. The other two MLAs are from Puthiya Tamizhagam and Pattali Makkal Katchi. ANI reported that the 10 MLAs will join the AIADMK on Thursday.
Pressure has been on the DMDK chief to take a decision regarding the party’s pre-poll alliance, especially after M Karunanidhi’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam tied up with the Congress. The Bharatiya Janata Party said it would announce its alliance soon, after rumours of a tie up with Jayalalithaa. The AIADMK swept Lok Sabha elections in 2014, winning 37 of the state's 39 Parliament seats. The party, which allied with the DMDK for 2011’s state Assembly polls, won 150 out of 234 Assembly seats that year. The DMDK won 29 seats in the 2011 election.