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Tamil Nadu opposition to seek President’s intervention for floor test in assembly

Opposition parties including DMK, Congress and the Left will meet President Kovind to urge him to ask governor Vidyasagar Rao to order a floor test

india Updated: Aug 30, 2017 16:03 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
tamil nadu crisis,aiadmk split,sasikala
MLAs supporting VK Sasikala's nephew TTV Dinakaran address the media on Tuesday. Dinakaran renewed calls Wednesday for CM to step down.(PTI photo)

Opposition in Tamil Nadu, led by DMK working president MK Stalin, has escalated the battle against the AIADMK led state government by deciding to call on President Ram Nath Kovind tomorrow to seek his intervention after acting governor C Vidyasagar Rao expressed his inability to “interfere with an internal matter of AIADMK”.

In tandem, rebel TTV Dinakaran who is fighting to stave off the challenge to his aunt’s authority in the party threatened chief minister Edapaddi Palanisami to resign on his own. He claimed the support of 40 MLAs and told media persons on Wednesday that the sleeper cells will get active at the appropriate time. For the present, in self-interest and part of strategy, they were silent.

Nineteen MLAs of AIADMK, owing allegiance to general secretary VK Sasikala and her nephew and deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran had in a written submission to Governor withdrew support to Edapaddi Palanisami government after the merger of the two factions of AIADMK that brought rebel leader O Panneerselvam back into government and party affairs in key roles.

TTV Dinakaran, breathing fire over the merger as also the possible efforts to oust his aunt Sasikala from the party post, on Wednesday claimed he had the support of at least 40 MLAs, though not all are with him now. For the present, 19 MLAs loyal to Dinakaran are lodged in a Puducherry resort and few others have pledged support to him.

With this, the Edapaddi Palanisami government has lost majority in the assembly and opposition alleges has absolutely no right to rule the state even for a minute more. A DMK delegation led by senior leader Durai Murugan and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi called on the governor on Monday urging him to convene assembly for trust vote.

On Wednesday, a delegation of Left parties -- CPM, CPI – and VCK called on the governor to ask him to order a trust vote in the wake of developments in the AIADMK. CPM state secretary G Ramakrishnan told media persons after coming out from Raj Bhavan that “the governor maintained that it was an internal party matter and that he could not interfere in such a matter. The MLAs are still in the party only and hence it is an internal party matter.”

DMK working president MK Stalin told media persons that a delegation comprising Congress, Left parties and IUML, will call on President Ram Nath Kovind on August 31, Thursday. The DMK and parties supporting it, will be calling on the president to request him to direct him Tamil Nadu acting governor to order a trust vote immediately so that the strength of the EPS government can be tested on the floor of the house.

“The governor said that the ball was not in his court. So, when he had ordered a floor test when OPS had revolted, the ball was in governor’s court,” Stalin questioned adding that “we will discuss whether to play the DMK card (moving a no confidence motion).”

Stalin said that the opposition delegation would call on President at 11 a.m.

If Stalin was putting pressure thus, Dinakaran upped the ante on Wednesday saying that “we have the support of 40 MLAs now. The sleeper cells will get active at the appropriate time. We are waiting for EPS to resign on his own. The man whom we appointed, if he cheats us, he will not be spared.”

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 16:03 IST