Since 18 MLAs backing RK Nagar legislator TTV Dinakaran remain disqualified, the effective strength of the Assembly is only 216. The working majority in the floor is 108 as the Speaker is excluded from voting and the total strength of the opposition is 105. Though, the crossing over of a few MLAs could swing the result, the AIADMK does not see any chance of the budget falling through in the House.
With Rajinikanth promising to form ‘MGR rule’ and indicating that he is targeting the crumbling AIADMK vote bank, the ruling party is closely watching the people’s response to Rajini’s moves and whether he could generate another wave in Tamil Nadu in the absence of charismatic leaders.
However, Dinakaran’s supporters deny any link between their political strategy and Rajinikanth’s political entry. They said Dinakaran is waiting for the Madras High Court judgment on the disqualification of 18 MLAs and asserted that they are expecting the verdict to be delivered within a week.
Former minister Senthil Balaji, one of the disqualified MLAs said, “Tamil Nadu will see a change of regime in a month. A floor test will be held in the Assembly soon. We will also retrieve the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol and the party.”
The AIADMK MLAs too rejected the perception that Rajini factor is shielding Edappadi K Palaniswami’s government. One of the AIADMK MLAs said, “The term of the Assembly ends only in 2021 and who wants a mid-term election now? This government is the result of Amma risking her health and sacrificing her life. None of the legislators, including those supporting Dinakaran are ready to bring down the government. We are not worried about Rajinikanth or Kamal Haasan, but what is the need to face the Assembly election when we have not completed even two years in power.”