The results of by-elections to 22 Assembly segments, which will be announced Thursday, will play a significant role in deciding the political fate of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and DMK chief MK Stalin. Going by the current strength in Assembly, the AIADMK has a better chance of continuing in the government.
With 114 MLAs including the Speaker, the AIADMK has to win just four seats while retaining a few disgruntled MLAs to reach 118 in a House of 234. The DMK, on the other hand, will have to sweep the bypolls, winning at least 21-22 seats. If it does so, it will be able to reach the magic 118 mark with the support of 8 Congress and 1 IUML MLAs.
If neither party wins the required numbers, the State may plunge into another spell of political uncertainty. Observers claim neither Dravidian major is keen to face another election. They might try win over members from other parties to seal the fate in the Assembly. DMK’s Duraimurugan hinted that intention earlier when he claimed that one-third of AIADMK legislators would switch over to the DMK after bypolls results are announced.
Observers say that in case of a hung Assembly, a lot may depend on who captures power at Centre. Finally, the poll outcome will also be crucial for TTV Dhinakaran and his AMMK.