The AIADMK, led by its new chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami, has decided NOT to issue a whip to its MLAs to be present in the Assembly on Saturday when the trust vote is slated to take place.
The CM apprehends there will be an exodus to the rival O Panneerselvam camp, if the MLAs were to be present.
The AIADMK legal wing has suggested that party sack MLAs and hold re-elections in those constituencies. With the prevailing anti-Sasikala sentiment among a majority of the public in Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK is apprehensive of losing the battle in the Assembly.
Former CM O Pannerselvam is still confident that between 18 and 20 MLAs from the Sasikala camp will walk over to him if they are let out of the Golden Bay Resort where they have been corralled since February 8. Consequently, the Sasikala camp has not allowed its MLAs outside the resort.
OPS wants a ballot vote, and not a voice vote, in the house as it will give him exact numbers who have voted against the government. The Speaker of the Tamil Nadu assembly S Dhanapal is with the Sasikala camp and will vote for E Palaniswami in the event of a tie.
Meanwhile, at 4 pm today, the DMK Legislature party is meeting in Chennai with 89 MLAs. Their strategy is not to bail out the E Palanaisamy government. In fact, early reports say the DMK may boycott the floor test, with MP Kanimozhi saying they will not participate. Whichever way the DMK goes, it will put the Edapaddi Palaniswami government in a tight spot.