A day after Edappadi Palaniswami was sworn in as chief minister of Tamil Nadu, the ruling party, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), is in deeper trouble with AIADMK presidium chairman E Madhusudanan sacking Sasikala and her nephews from the party.
After submitting his list of the 31-minister cabinet, Palaniswami took oath along with the other members at the Raj Bhavan on Thursday evening. He was given 15 days by the governor to prove his majority and will seek a vote of confidence tomorrow.
He kept 30-ministers from the O Panneerselvam cabinet and did not include Sasikala's nephew TTV Dinakaran who was named the deputy chief secretary of AIADMK in the list. However, Dinakaran accompanied Palaniswamy to the 'Jaya memorial' after the oath taking ceremony.
Palaniswamy, who was appointed legislature party leader by Sasikala who foisted herself as the new leader of the party, may, see further trouble if the confidence vote fails as more MLAs are then expected to flock to Pannerselvam's camp.
Palaniswamy's challenge has grown with AIADMK presidium chairman E Madhusudanan removing VK Sasikala from the primary membership of the party - a move that might split the AIADMK down the middle.
It may be mentioned that VK Sasikala - aka Sasikala Natarajan, known as Chinnamma to supporters - had expelled Madhusudanan from the primary membership of the party. The question that now arises is whether Madhusudanan had the authority to expel Sasikala, say commentators.
Madhusudnan has already sent a communication to the Election Commission challenging the election of Sasikala as AIADMK's general secretary, in place of the late J Jayalalithaa.
If that election was invalid, then the decisions taken by Sasikala after that would not hold and Madhusudanan would remain the presidium chairman, with the authority to expel Sasikala from the AIADMK.
He would then also have the authority to expel others, which he exercised by pushing Sasikala's nephews TTV Dinakaran and S Venkatesh out of the party.
If Madhusudanan wins the EC verdict, he may also have the right to appoint another leader in place of Palaniswami and this could foil Sasikala's plans to usurp power.