The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Indian Union Muslim League on Friday said they will vote against All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami during the floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly that is scheduled for Saturday. The two parties have 90 MLAs between them.
“If he [Palaniswami] seeks a vote of confidence on February 18, we will oppose him. All our 89 MLAs will vote against him,” DMK’s MK Stalin told ANI. Earlier, it was reported that the DMK was planning to abstain or stage a walk out from the house. IUML’s lone MLA, Muhammed Abubacker, told Scroll.in that he, too, would vote against the newly appointed chief minister.
State Congress President S Thirunavukkarasar told reporters he was awaiting directions from the party headquarters and that their eight MLAs will attend the trust vote, ANI reported.
Palaniswami will have to secure at least 116 votes if 232 members are present during the vote of confidence motion on Saturday – the full strength of the house was 234 while J Jayalalithaa was alive, and DMK chief Karunanidhi is recovering from illness at home.
Earlier in the day, former AIADMK presidium chief E Madhusudhanan expelled Palaniswami, party general secretary VK Sasikala and deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran, from the party.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission asked VK Sasikala to reply to a petition submitted by former acting chief minister O Panneerselvam’s faction member, Dr V Maitreyan, challenging her nomination as AIADMK general secretary. The commission has given Sasikala until February 28 to submit her reply, ANI reported.
The crisis in the state had begun after Sasikala was announced the next chief minister and Panneerselvam had resigned after a meeting of AIADMK legislators. Panneerselvam had then revolted against Sasikala, who was an aide of deceased Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s. Sasikala has since been convicted in a disproportionate assets case and is out of the running.