03 August, 2021

Bypolls To Their Rescue

Focus on assembly ­bypolls instead of Lok Sabha polls paid off for the AIADMK

Smart Movers
CM E. Palaniswami and deputy CM O. Panneerselvam
Photograph by PTI
Bypolls To Their Rescue

As the results for the Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu rolled in on May 23, chief minister Eda­ppadi K. Palaniswami ­realised within the first hour that they were losing badly. But his attention was focussed on something even more important—results of the byp­olls to 22 assembly seats that were also trickling in. By the end of the day, Palaniswami could breathe easy—though the DMK outstripped his ­AIADMK by winning 13 assembly seats, Palaniswami was content with the nine seats that came his party’s way. Those nine seats ens­ured that his government, surviving with just 113 MLAs (excluding the Speaker) in a house of 234, would now have a ­comfortable ­majority of 122. If the DMK had won all 22 seats, it would have been in a position to form the government along with its allies, claiming a­ ­majority of 119.

With those results, Palaniswami  again proved to be Tamil Nadu’s ultimate political survivor, having already weathered a challenge by T.T.V. Dhinakaran who walked away with 18 MLAs when Palaniswami and his...

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