So what does OPS need to pull the rug from under Sasikala?

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Sasikala Natarajan carted 130 MLAs in three buses and parked them at a resort, 120 kilometres away from Chennai. Sasikala needs the support of 117 MLAs if she is to become chief minister of Tamil Nadu. O Paneerselvam too is a contender to the post, but doing the math it appears to be tough for him to get the numbers.

Chennai: File photo of Senior AIADMK leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam in Chennai.

So here is the math, simplified:

Total seats: 234 (one seat vacant following Jayalalithaa's death, 1 Anglo-Indian nominated MLA)

AIADMK has: 135 (including 3 from alliance parties, who won on the AIADMK symbol and the speaker)


Sasikala has: 129 MLAs with her

To form the government, Sasikala needs: 117

To play spoilsport, Panneerselvam needs: 135 - 117 = 18

Panneerselvam already has 6 (including himself)

So, OPS needs: 18 - 6 = 12 MLAs

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