Chennai: The minor AIADMK group led by jailed General Secretary V.K. Sasikala's nephew T.T.V. Dinakaran on Tuesday told Governor C.V. Rao that it wants the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister changed, a faction member said.
PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss meanwhile said the Governor must ask Chief Minister K. Palaniswami to prove his government's majority immediately in the House to avoid any horse-trading. Speaking to a television channel after meeting the Governor, Sasikala-Dinakaran loyalist Thangathamizh Chelvan said: "We have told the Governor that we will be taking steps to change Chief Minister Palaniswami." He added: "We are taking steps in this regard." According to him, the party legislators would meet and elect a new Chief Minister. The Dinakaran faction has been upset over its isolation in the ruling party whose two major factions, led by Palaniswami and former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, united a day earlier. The merged party also decided to sack Sasikala as General Secretary. Nineteen legislators belonging to the Dinakaran faction met the Governor on Tuesday at Raj Bhavan. Reacting to the development, PMK's Ramadoss said the 19 legislators belonging to the Dinakaran group had told the Governor that they had withdrawn their support to the government. Accordingly, the AIADMK government had lost majority in the assembly, he said. He said the AIADMK had 134 members in the assembly (excluding the Speaker) and this had fallen to 115 without the support of the Dinakaran faction. Ramadoss said three legislators belonging to other parties who fought the 2016 assembly elections under the AIADMK's "two leaves" symbol had also expressed support to Dinakaran. As a result, the total number of AIADMK legislators supporting the government was only 112, less than the number needed to have a legislative majority, Ramadoss said. The Tamil Nadu Assembly has 234 seats. One seat is vacant due to the death of AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa. Of the 233 members, the DMK has 89 members, the Congress-8 and the IUML-1. Speaker P. Dhanapal has only a casting vote in a tie. The DMK, Congress and IUML are in an alliance. It is not known whether the Dinakaran faction would vote against the government if there is a no confidence motion in the assembly. DMK leader M.K. Stalin had earlier said the party would move a no confidence motion if there was a need.