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DMK meets governor, presses for floor test as AIADMK factional feud deepens

The war is set to escalate further with Palaniswami-Panneerselvam combine convening a meeting of office bearers, MLAs, MPs on Monday where a resolution to unseat Sasikala could be adopted.

india Updated: Aug 27, 2017 19:54 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Chennai, Hindustan Times
DMK,AIADMK,AIADMK factional feud
Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami (R) and O Panneerselvam greet supporters following merger of their factions, Chennai, on August 21.(File)

Tamil Nadu’s principal opposition party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Sunday urged governor Vidyasagar Rao to direct chief minister K Palaniswami to prove his majority in the assembly as the running feud in the AIADMK got murkier ahead of a crucial meet of the ruling party.

The DMK upped its ante even as one more AIADMK legislator joined the rebel camp led by party’s ousted deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran, who now claims to have the support of 21 MLAs.

The fresh mutiny was triggered after Palaniswami and former chief minister O Panneerselvam buried the hatchet and merged their rival AIADMK factions last Monday.

The group-led by Dinakaran opposed the reunion and threatened to rock the Palaniswami government by galvanizing his sleeper cells within the AIADMK.

The raging war is all set to escalate further with Palaniswami- Panneerselvam combine convening a meeting of the party office bearers, MLAs, MPs on Monday where a resolution to unseat their jailed chief VK Sasikala, who was convicted of corruption this February, could be adopted.

The rebel MLAs, gravitating towards Sasikala’s nephew Dinakaran, threatened violence if she is ousted.

Sasikala, the long-time live-in aide of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, reportedly still wield considerable influence in the party.

Dinakaran supporter Thanga Tamilselvan told reporters “there will be violence in the party office if such a resolution was passed.”

The rebel MLAs also given governor a two-day deadline to take a decision on their demand of a trust vote as they had withdrawn support to the chief minister.

Rebel MLAs are camping in neighbouring Puducherry and are expected to stay there for another week.

Amid the internal strife in the ruling party, a DMK delegation led by senior leader Durai Murugan called on the governor to press for a floor test.

The governor assured the delegation that he would act in the best interests of the constitution after examining all the legal aspects of the situation.

The DMK delegation spent some 15 minutes with the governor.

DMK working president MK Stalin, addressing a gathering at Thiruvarur, constituency of his father M Karunanidhi, said his party would move a court if the governor does not convene an assembly session immediately to conduct the floor test.

“The government has lost legitimacy and has no right to stay in office even for a second,” he said.

Refuting the charges that his party was trying to grab power “through the backdoor”, Stalin said the AIADMK government would fall because of its internal conflict and that the DMK will have nothing to do with it.

Incidentally, to save the government chief minister Palanisami and his deputy Panneerselvam have reportedly devised a strategy to get some DMK legislators suspended for breach of privilege.

Under focus are some 20 DMK MLAs, including Stalin, for carrying banned ‘ghutka’ products into assembly to highlight the issue of poor implementation of ban on the tobacco products in the state.

Meanwhile, Dinakaran continued with his sacking spree and removed several AIADMK leaders from party posts on Sunday.

Among the leaders axed by Dinakaran so far is Palanisami from the post of the party’s Salem district chief, a position to which he was appointed by late Jayalalithaa.

G Venkatachalam, a supporter of chief minister, said “Dinakaran did not have the power to remove anyone from anywhere. These appointments were made by Amma and so these would continue.”

First Published: Aug 27, 2017 19:52 IST