Advantage Palanisamy after 18 AIADMK MLAs disqualified- How the numbers add up
Disqualification of 18 ruling party MLAs comes as a massive relief to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy. With the current strength of the house at 215, all that Palanisamy needs to continue as Chief Minister are 108 votes.
In a much-anticipated move, Tamil Nadu assembly speaker P Dhanapal on Monday disqualified 18 MLAs of the AIADMK under Tamil Nadu Assembly Members party defection law, 1986. The move now effectively brings down the total strength of the assembly to 215 as against the original strength of 234. With Jayalalithaa's death, the number had been reduced to 233. Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy now needs only 108 to sustain his government.
"It is advantage Edappadi Palanisamy since he will now sail through decisively. The order has better legal standing since it has come independent of the Madras High Court's order over floor test. Palanisamy, who has the support of 112 MLAs currently can breath easy since all he needs is 108 votes to reach the halfway mark," said Sumanth Raman, a Political analyst.
Before the MLAs' disqualification, the halfway mark in the Tamil Nadu assembly stood at 117. With 19 AIADMK MLAs pledging their support to TTV Dinakaran and withdrawing their support to Edappadi Palanisamy's Chief Ministership, the number, 117, has become unachievable for the incumbent government. The Tamil Nadu speaker had issued multiple notices to the MLAs including Thanga Tamilselvan, Senthil Balaji, P Vetrivel and K Mariappan but received no response. MLAs of the party backing Dinakaran have been herded to resort after resort ever since the
merger of Palanisamy and O Panneerselvam factions.