Palaniswami’s government would be able to survive a Floor Test, if any, were ordered, subject to the outcome of a writ petition filed by the DMK on the matter, which is pending before the Madras High Court.
Disqualifying 18 legislators from the Legislative Assembly would alter the composition of the House which would bring down the effective members count to 215 from 233. The needed simple majority in the House would come down to 108 from 116. Since 21 MLAs siding with Dinakaran had already withdrawn their support to the incumbent CM in the House, EPS now enjoys the support 114 MLAs which is more than he needs to prove his strength.
The action against 18 legislators was initiated after Chief Government Whip S Rajendran recommended action against 19 MLAs after they wrote to the Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao withdrawing support to EPS. One of the MLAs – STK Jakkaiyan (Cumbum) switched over to EPS camp, and is spared from action.
Political commentator Govi Lenin said, “Dinakaran’s last resort would be to topple the government. To do so, he needs his members inside the House. He might take it to court as disqualification can be challenged in the court. Like in the cases of Uttarakhand, the court would test the validity of the disqualification orders. If it is convinced there was a need to a fresh Floor Test, it might order one.”
The pro-TTV faction had already moved the Madras High Court seeking remedy citing that the ruling government was rushing to disqualify the dissident MLAs, besides demanding a Floor Test to prove its majority post-disqualification.
The Court had stayed the Legislative Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal from ordering any Floor Test until September 20.