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Palaniswami govt's fate to be decided today

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami will seek a vote of confidence in the Assembly today, the first such floor test the state will witness in about 30 years.

He will be seeking the confidence vote in line with Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao asking him to do so on Friday while inviting him to form the government.

Though the new government was given 15 days time to prove the majority in the House, Palaniswami, a known loyalist of AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala, opted to do it within two days. In fact, many MLAs supporting Sasikala are still staying at the resort in Koovathur, about 80 km from Chennai, and are scheduled to leave on Saturday morning to be on time for the trust vote at 11 am.

A revolt by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam against Sasikala last week resulted in a political stalemate, with AIADMK supporters divided between the two camps. In an intra-party power struggle, Panneerselvam had rebelled against Sasikala on February 7, alleging he was forced to step down to make way for her becoming the Chief Minister. She was elected as the AIADMK Legislature Party leader on February 5.

But the Governor had apparently chosen to await the outcome of the Supreme Court verdict in the disproportionate assets case, in which Sasikala has been convicted and is serving the prison term in Bengaluru.

Incidentally, it was a succession row that triggered a faction war in AIADMK that had prompted a floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly in January 1988, when Janaki, widow of M G Ramachandran, succeeded him in the midst of a bitter rivalry involving Jayalalithaa.
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