Edappadi Palaniswami, the proxy who VK Sasikala — aka Sasikala Natarajan or Chinnamma to supporters — on Saturday won the floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, ensuring that he remains Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. The vote was not without incident, though, with repeated adjournments and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MLAs turning violent.
Here are 10 things that happened throughout the day that highlight the turmoil before the eventual victory of Palaniswami on the floor of the TN Assembly:
1. Secret ballot: This was one of the primary demands of the DMK and the OPS faction of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). It was expected that if secret ballot was held, some AIADMK MLAs from the EPS faction might vote from him.
2. DMK protests: The demand for secret ballot was denied by Assembly speaker P Dhanapal, leading to protests by the DMK. Some MLAs destroyed chairs, while others tore papers. They then gheraoed the Speaker.
3. DMK turns violent: The DMK MLAs then proceeded to try to pressure Dhanapal. As efforts were made to take him out of the Assembly, some DMK MLAs tried to grab him and hold him back.
4. Speaker leaves, House adjourned: As the scuffle continued, Dhanapal adjourned the house till 1 pm and managed to go out with the help of marshals.
5. Ambulance called for official hurt in scuffle: A government official working at the TN Assembly was hurt in the scuffle within the TN Assembly, and had to be rushed to hospital for treatment.
6. DMK MLA sits on Speaker's chair: Ku Ka Selvam, one of the protesting DMK MLAs, disrespected the Speaker by sitting on his chair after he left. Selvam was quickly taken off the chair by fellow lawmakers from the party.
7. Speaker returns, censures DMK: As the clock struck 1 pm, Dhanapal returned to the Assembly, and censured the DMK MLAs, saying that they had torn his shirt.
8. DMK MLAs told to go out of Assembly: Dhanapal then ordered all DMK MLAs, including the party's acting president MK Stalin, to be evicted from the Assembly. Stalin later met TN Governor C Vidyasagar Rao over the incident. He also told reporters that his shirt was also torn in the scuffle.
9. Congress stages walkout: Subsequently, even the Congress MLAs staged a walkout from the TN Assembly, and did not participate in the floor test.
10. Palaniswami wins trust vote: Voting resumed after another adjournment after 3 pm, and Palaniswami eventually won the floor test, with 122 MLAs voting in his favour.