In another eventful day at the office, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami claimed the backing of 124 MLAs, including nine from the sidelined deputy chief TTV Dhinakaran’s camp.
The MLAs resolved to repose the faith in their CM as the AIADMK legislature party met at the party headquarters, thereby sending out a strong message to the dissidents.
This is a strong statement on the part of the ruling Government as the opposition led by Stalin was demanding a floor test after 22 MLAs were believed to have withdrawn their support soon after the merger of the two AIADMK factions.
Senior minister and key supporter of the chief minister D Jayakumar told reporters that 111 MLAs attended the meeting expressing support to Palaniswamy and signed the party register.
He also claimed the extended support of nine MLAs from ‘that camp’ (referring to Dinakaran’s faction) who chose to lend their support over a phone call.
This claim, if comes out to be true, will be a major setback to Dinakaran who earlier had described the merger as a “betrayal” of party general secretary Sasikala. “It is not a merger. It is a commercial agreement reached for self-interest and hunger for positions and to protect posts,” Dinakaran had charged.
However, the Dinakaran camp, which has been pressing for replacement of Palaniswami, disputed the claim and dared them to name the nine MLAs.
It seems the tables have turned once again in favor of the ruling party and any statement from the opposition is much-awaited.