Tamil Nadu CM row: DMK moves HC against Palaniswami’s trust vote

The DMK wanted secret voting during the trust vote sought by Palaniswami in the state assembly

india Updated: Feb 20, 2017 20:01 IST
Aditya Iyer
Aditya Iyer
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Tamil Nadu CM row,EK Palaniswami,Stalin
DMK working president M Stalin along with his party MLAs at the Tamil Nadu Secretariat in Chennai on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

Tamil Nadu’s opposition DMK party approached the Madras high court on Monday, demanding that chief minister EK Palaniswami’s trust vote in the state assembly be declared null and void.

The case will be heard on Tuesday. DMK working president MK Stalin also announced that his party would launch a state-wide hunger strike to protest against the “illegal” trust vote.

AIADMK’s Palaniswami won a dramatic floor test two days ago, with the speaker throwing out opposition DMK members for violence and Congress legislators walking out of the House.

An FIR was later lodged against Stalin, his party MLAs, MPs and cadres for holding a protest at Marina beach against an alleged attack on him and his MLAs during the trust vote.

Palaniswami won by 122 votes to 11 after speaker P Dhanapal twice adjourned the House within a couple of hours when DMK legislators broke furniture and microphones, threw papers and even occupied his chair.

The unprecedented eviction of the 88 DMK legislators and the secrecy surrounding the special session were likely to take the sheen off Paliniswami’s win, which also handed a moral victory to disgraced AIADMK chief VK Sasikala in a high-stakes battle against her challenger O Panneerselvam, who succeeded J Jayalalithaa as the chief minister after her death in December.

Palaniswami, 62, was propped up as CM by Sasikala after the Supreme Court sent her to jail in a 20-year-old corruption case. Former CM O Panneerselvam, with barely a handful of legislators in his camp, however, found support from the DMK, the Congress and the All India Muslim League.

The DMK wanted secret voting during the trust vote sought by Palaniswami. In that event, Panneerselvam could have staked claim to form the government but even he was unlikely to reach the magic number to become chief minister. The DMK strategy was driven by its hope that the split in the AIADMK would force the governor to impose President’s Rule in the state for a few months and eventually go for fresh elections.

First Published: Feb 20, 2017 11:56 IST