Despite DMK and Congress voting against the motion of confidence in the newly-sworn in government of Edapadi Palaniswami won the trust vote on the floor of the Tamil Nadu Assembly bringing curtains down to one-month controvery in AIADMK.
With V.K. Sasikala serving her four-year jail term in Bangalore prison, Congress at the last minute decided to vote against Sasikala camp and ostensibly supporting the O.Panneerselvam side in the open intra-party fight. DMK as assumed voted against the motion.
Palaniswami mustered a floor strength of 122 as against his claim of 124 MLAs supporting him and in a 235-member assembly, one seat was vacant following J. Jayalalithaa’s death, which triggered the imminent in-fighting for the throne.
Palaniswami, who was one of the four confidante army of Jayalalithaa since her inception into AIADMK, is from Gounder community, which is a strong support base of the AIADMK. He was elected from Salem’s Edappadi constituency in 1989, 1991, 2011 and 2016 and held the portfolios of Highways, Public Works and Minor Ports.
His choice comes not as a surprise and it was a benchmark of loyalty and Sasikala left behind her nephew as deputy general secretary of the party to monitor and control the CM.
What ensues is the next course of action by the Panneerselvam group, numbering 11 MLAs and 4 MPs. While any peace effort is not on the cards, surely he revert to the party in less than one year or join the Congress Party and lead the next battle in Tamil Nadu politics.