A day after the merger of two AIADMK factions, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami faced his first major crisis as 19 MLAs belonging to the T.T.V. Dhinakaran faction submitted letters to Governor Ch.Vidyasagar Rao expressing lack of confidence in the Chief Minister and withdrawing support to him.

Shortly after the development, Leader of the Opposition and DMK leader M K Stalin demanded that the Governor must call for a floor test in the Assembly. As things stand now the Mr. Palaniswami falls short of a simple majority by one seat.

The 19 AIADMK rebel MLAs called on the Governor this morning at Raj Bhavan and submitted individual letters withdrawing their support to Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

In identical letters addressed to the Governor, the MLAs stated that the Chief Minister has "forfeited" their confidence and that of the public and hence they were withdrawing their support earlier extended to Mr. Palaniswami. They further urged the Governor to "intervene and institute the constitutional process".

"The Governor received our letters and said he would

take action”, one of the 19 AIADMK MLAs who met the Governor told The Hindu. Later, the Governor left for Mumbai, sources in the Raj Bhavan said.

Andipatti MLA Thangatamilselvan, a known supporter of Mr. Dhinakaran, while addressing the media outside his leader's residence in Adyar said, "Our aim is to bring about a no confidence motion against the Chief Minister."

The visibly agitated MLA said, "You will have to wait and see how we will change the Chief Minister."

Sources in the TTV Dhinakaran faction said that they were totally against the way in which the merger was made without consulting them. "It was because of Mr. Panneerselvam we have to face a confidence motion against the Chief Minister and that he had only few MLAs. Also, we lost our two leaves symbol because of him."

After six months, two factions led by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam announced their merger on Monday. Mr. Palaniswami and his supporter K. Pandiarajan were indicted into the Cabinet as Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Tamil Development and Culture respectively.

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