Amidst reports that at least nine more AIADMK legislatures including four ministers may join the TTV Dinakaran camp, sources from the ruling party in Tamil Nadu said that steps is being taken to expel party general secretary V K Sasikala at a general council meeting scheduled to be held before August 31, Indian Express said.
As per the report, state Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has called an urgent meeting with senior ministers in Chennai on Thursday. “The meeting will discuss two strategies: how to avoid a floor test, and how to speed up the process of sacking Sasikala from the party,” a senior minister was quoted as saying by the paper.
A minister close to the chief minister said that Sasikala’s expulsion will bring back MLAs from the Dinakaran camp. “That is the only reason for them to stay in the Dinakaran camp. They will have to come back and save this government if Sasikala and Dinakaran are expelled,” added. “There may be 10 to 20 per cent Sasikala supporters, who are expected to oppose the decision to expel her. We have to deal with that challenge,” Indian Express quoted him as saying.
In the meantime, supporters of Sasikala are likely to file petition in the Madras High Court seeking its intervention, fearing that they may be prevented from attending the General Council meeting.
TTV Dinakaran enjoys the support of 22 MLAs (including three Independents) in the 233-member state Assembly. Among 123 AIADMK MLAs, nine more MLAs, which included two ministers who lost key portfolios in the recent Cabinet reshuffle are reported to be backing Dinakaran.
On AIADMK’s plan to avoid floor test for now, another minister said that situation was in their favour currently as Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao is likely to go abroad within next few days. When contacted, the spokesperson of the governor said that later was in Mumbai and did not have his holiday plans, Indian Express said.