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The opposition DMK on Tuesday demanded an immediate floor test in Tamil Nadu after a faction of the ruling party MLAs told the governor they had lost confidence in chief minister Edappadi Palanisami, adding to political uncertainty in the southern state.
Tamil Nadu is battling a political crisis since December following the death of all-powerful chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who was also the leader of the AIADMK.
The party's two factions came together on Monday after O Pannerselvam was sworn as the deputy CM but a third group of 19 MLAs, loyal to sacked AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran, rose in revolt against the merger.
"We are going to initiate efforts to bring in a new chief minister with the help of our supporting MLAs," Andipatti MLA Thanga Tamil Selvan said after meeting C Vidyasagar Rao.
By evening, Dinakaran had corralled his MLAs to a private sea-side resort in neighbouring Puducherry, which is ruled by the Congress.
Twenty rooms have been booked at The Windflower Resorts and Spa for the MLAs in a re-run of a drama the state witnessed in February.
The MLAS also urged the governor to "start the constitutional process" as the government was reduced to a "minority", sources said.
Waiting in the wings, DMK working president MK Stalin wrote to Rao, saying the government was reduced to minority after 22 MLAs withdrew support. He, however, didn't elaborate



who were the 22 MLAs.
Stalin told media the governor ought to have ordered a floor test after the MLAs told him of their decision to "withdraw support".
So far, the rebel MLAs are pushing for new chief minister and have not talked about withdrawing support to the government.
"It is ironic that Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks about waging war against corruption but was personally engaged in bringing together two corrupt politicians in Tamil Nadu," Stalin said. The BJP is believed to have pushed the two factions to come together.
Asked if his party would bring a no-confidence motion, Stalin said a decision would be taken after a thorough discussion.
There could be more trouble for the Palanisami government. V Divakaran, the brother of jailed AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala, claimed eight MLAs were with him and would write to governor withdrawing support to Palanisami.
The AIADMK has 134 MLAs in the 233-member House - a seat is lying vacant after the death of Jayalalithaa. The majority mark is down to 117 but if Dinakaran's 19 MLAs are discounted, the ruling group will be reduced to 115.
Dinakaran, who is Sasikala's nephew, and Divakaran feel betrayed by Palanisami as Panneerslevam faction had conditioned the merger on Sasikala being removed as party in-charge.
Palanisami, also known as EPS, was picked as the chief minister by Sasikala before being sent to jail.
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