Chennai, Feb 17: DMK, which plays the role of prime Opposition in Tamil Nadu assembly, will be voting against Chief Minister E Palaniswami during the floor test on Saturday. Party’s working president MK Stalin confirmed that all 89 MLAs of DMK would not be extending support to Palaniswami. However, DMK’s ally Congress will take the final call tomorrow.
“If he (Tamil Nadu CM) seeks vote of confidence tomorrow,we will oppose him in the assembly. Our 89 MLAs will vote against him,” Stalin said, following a high-level meeting of DMK functionaries in Chennai. Stalin indicated that DMK is rooting for re-elections in state. “People from all walks of life have been badly affected due to political crisis in Tamil Nadu,” he added.
Congress, which holds 9 seats in the assembly, is still undecided whether they should support the AIADMK government in the floor test. Congress MLAs will take the final call in the morning at 9 AM, a couple of hours before the floor test, reported The Hindu.
Palaniswami was sworn in as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu on Thursday, after he illustrated the support of 124 AIADMK MLAs. Along with him, 30 other AIADMK MLAs were also sworn-in as cabinet ministers.
To keep his government afloat, Palaniswami needs the support of at least 118 MLAs during the floor test. Although the Panneerselvam camp has the support only 10 AIADMK legislators, they could end up destabilising the government by adding 7 more MLAs in the tally of rebels.
Palaniswami was appointed as the legislature party leader by AIADMK supremo VK Sasikala on Tuesday, hours after she was convicted by the Supreme Court in the two-decade old disproportionate assets case. Sasikala was sentenced to four years of prison, along with 10 years of ban on fighting elections.
Palaniswami, belonging to the Gounder community, is reportedly backed by a significant section of AIADMK volunteers and legislators. The 67-year-old emerged as the top Jayalalithaa loyalist following the death of Jayalalithaa.
In order to prevent their MLAs from defection, Sasikala camp has lodged AIADMK MLAs at the Golden Bay resort in Kuvathur. However, ousted chief minister Panneerselvam claims that the electoral scenario would change following the floor test. The OPS cam alleged that Sasikala family has used means of coercion and threat to claim the loyalty of MLAs. “We will not allow the betrayers of Amma to form a government. We will fight till the end,” he said, while speaking to the press on Thursday.