Friday, 17 Feb, 10.03 pm

India
DMK to Vote Against Tamil Nadu CM Palanisamy's Floor Test

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy, a loyalist of V K Sasikala, will seek a trust vote in the Assembly on Saturday, and barring any last-minute hitches, the new AIADMK government is expected to sail through.

However, Opposition DMK Working President M K Stalin said his party legislators would vote against the Palanisamy government.

Meanwhile, state Congress Committee chief said the party unit would take a decision based on the "advice" of the party's high command.

DMK has 89 MLAs while the Congress has eight.

Panneerselvam on Friday evening urged AIADMK MLAs to vote against Palanisamy.

Please vote against the trust vote and safeguard the interests of Amma. Please think wisely before casting your vote tomorrow. Don't buckle under pressure. O Panneerselvam

The floor test in the Assembly will be the first such exercise the state will witness in about 30 years.

On the eve of the vote, the Palanisamy camp on Friday got a jolt when one of its MLAs, R Nataraj, a former state DGP, said he would vote against the Chief Minister's motion of confidence.

Nataraj's move has reduced Palanisamy's stated support to 123 members in a House of 234.

I have interacted with people in my constituency and their overwhelming opinion is that the government of O Panneerselvam should continue, and I have to reflect this opinion of the people in the Assembly. Nataraj, Mylapore MLA, told PTI

Before Natraj announced his decision, Palanisamy has claimed the support of 124 MLAs and asserted his government will stay while his rival and predecessor O Panneerselvam has vowed to continue his fight against Sasikala and her family.

Though Panneerselvam now has the backing of 11 MLAs, experts feel he can jolt the government if he is able to wean away a few legislators from the Palanisamy camp, and render it a minority government.

AIADMK has 134 MLAs in the 234-member legislative assembly.

Palanisamy will be seeking the confidence vote in line with Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, asking him to do so yesterday while inviting him to form the government.

A revolt by Panneerselvam against Sasikala last week resulted in a political stalemate with AIADMK supporters divided between the two camps.

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