With Tamil Nadu having witnessed a mini-Assembly election of sorts with bypolls to 22 constituencies being held in two phases, Thursday’s results could decide the fate of the AIADMK government headed by Edappadi K. Palaniswami. Whether the DMK would be able to immediately topple the government, which has a wafer-thin majority, will depend on its strike rate in the bypolls.
The AIADMK has 114 MLAs including the Speaker – who can vote only in case of a tie in a no-confidence motion – in the House, whose strength would be restored to the sanctioned figure of 234. Technically, the party needs to win just four seats to get past the half-way mark. However, given that the Speaker has issued notices (stayed by the Supreme Court) to three dissident AIADMK MLAs on the charge of backing AMMK leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran, the party may need to win 8 to 10 seats to ward off any challenge in the House.
For the DMK, which has 88 MLAs and could bank on the Congress’ eight MLAs and the lone IUML legislator for support, it needs to win 21 seats to cross the magic figure of 117. Alternatively, if it wins 20 seats, it would require the support of Mr. Dhinakaran, the lone Independent MLA, to topple the Palaniswami government.
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