The DMK alliance, which has 97 MLAs, is hoping to bag at least 21 of the 22 by-poll Assembly seats to cross the majority mark and topple the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu. Eighteen seats have already witnessed by-polls. Remaining four that will go to polls on May 19 will stand crucial for the AIADMK
Chennai: Following the action taken by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal against dissident MLAs for "anti-party" activities, Aravakurichi and Ottapidaram Assembly constituencies are heading for by-polls on May 19.
By-polls in Sulur and Tirupparankundram have been necessitated by the deaths of sitting AIADMK MLAs R Kanagaraj and AK Bose respectively. By-elections to 18 Assembly constituencies were witnessed along with 38 Parliamentary constituencies that went to polls on April 18. Election in the 39th seat (Vellore) stood cancelled following large amounts of cash seizure.
The by-polls to the remaining four Assembly constituencies are crucial in terms of sealing the fate of the AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu, which has for long been functioning despite being in short of majority following the disqualification of 18 MLAs, who owed their allegiance to AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran.
AIADMK has 113 MLAs (including the three independents who won in 2016 Assembly election using the two leaves symbol) excluding the Speaker in the 234-seat Assembly. The magic number stands at 118. The DMK-Congress-IUML alliance owns 97 seats in all after the demise of former state chief minister M Karunanidhi. If DMK gets 21 seats, the party will leave no stone unturned to ensure they usurp power in the state.
"Even if DMK gets just five, the dissatisfaction leading to defection is extremely high. It's a matter of time and the government will collapse," said a DMK source.
Recently, three MLAs expressed their dissent against the AIADMK government, risking disqualification. With DMK's backing, the three legislators knocked the doors of the Supreme Court that awarded an interim stay.
This apart, when deputy chief minister O Paneerselvam launched his revolt against them AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala in 2017, 11 MLAs were set to be disqualified. Now, with the patch-up between chief minister Edappadi Palaniswamy and Paneerselvam, no action has been taken by the Speaker, while DMK has been crying foul.
The AIADMK is of the belief that the result of the Lok Sabha election will favour them, in turn, having a direct bearing on the Assembly by-polls. By-polls apart, repolling in 13 booths in Tamil Nadu will also take place on May 19.
Meanwhile, the DMK is longing to see the son Stalin rise on May 23.
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Last Updated 19, May 2019, 10:42 AM