After OPS revolts what next in Tamil Nadu: An 8 point explainer

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Chennai, Feb 8: It would be an interesting day ahead for Tamil Nadu politics. With O Panneerselvam rebelling against All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supremo Sasikala Natarajan, the state could well be staring at a constitutional crisis.

OPS dropped a bombshell late Tuesday night when he said that he was humiliated by his party colleagues which forced him to tender his resignation as the chief minister of the state. 

Sasikala OPS

He added that he was not averse to the idea of reconsidering his resignation if his party men wished him to remain the CM. What will happen in case OPS withdraw his resignation? Is there a chance of President's rule being imposed in the state? Let us explore the various options and possibilities.

Can OPS withdraw his resignation?

Yes, he can. He can tell the governor that he has resigned under duress. If the governor accepts this version and OPS is able to prove that he has the required strength, then the withdrawal of his resignation can be accepted.

How many MLAs do OPS needs to stake a claim?

He needs the support of 117 MLAs.

President's rule to be imposed in Tamil Nadu?

At the moment, OPS continues to function as the CM as the governor has told him to do so. However, if there is no solution to the crisis and Sasikala too stakes a claim there could be a breakdown of the constitutional machinery. In such an event, the governor can recommend imposition of President's rule in the state.

Can the governor appoint the CM of his choice?

The governor has the discretion to appoint any person whom he feels commands a majority. He can, however, let OPS continue as the CM if there are conflicting claims. In such an event, he has to wait and watch how the situation unfolds.

Can the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam support OPS?

Yes, the DMK can support OPS till the next elections. Politically it may not be feasible for the DMK as the elections are still four years away.

Can Sasikala be sworn in as CM?

Yes, she can, as she has been elected as the leader of the AIADMK legislature party. There is legally or constitutionally no bar on her being sworn in as the CM. However, the same could be put on hold by the governor if there are conflicting claims.

What if OPS is sacked from the party?

Sasikala has the right to sack OPS from the party. However, that would not ensure him losing the CM's post immediately as the governor has asked him to continue as the state's CM.

Will the Anti-Defection law come into force?

The AIADMK has 135 members. Under the Anti-Defection law, a legislature party cannot split. However, two-thirds of a party can merge with another and in the case of the AIADMK, 90 members would be required before any such move is made.

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