Friday, 22 September, 2017

Madras HC stays floor test until Sept 20 — AIADMK crisis

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami | K K sundar Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami | K K sundar
Howard Terry | 16 September, 2017, 00:41

The Opposition leader has been reiterating his demand to have Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami prove his majority in the House since he parted ways with Dinakaran.

Earlier in the day, following arguments in the DMK case, senior advocate PS Raman appearing for the Dhinakaran camp had mentioned before Justice Duraisamy that certain MLAs also wished to implead in the case as the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker had issued notices to 19 legislators asking why they should not be disqualified.

Since there is apprehension that 19 rebel MLAs may be disqualified and floor test conducted for the trust vote without giving any time to the MLAs to challenge the Speaker's order, the judge said he was of the view that the authorities shall not conduct the trust vote, in the interest of justice, till September 20.

He said, "No legal sanction for the [general council ] meeting and those who attended are not general council members". TTV Dhinakaran had on Wednesday removed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami from the post of AIADMK headquarter secretary.The "sacked" party deputy chief Dinakaran appointed P Palaniappan as the new party headquarter secretary.

The moves emerged between a fight that was going to wrest control of Tamil Nadu's ruling party, that was for years led by its late former leader J Jayalalithaa.

A group of MPs and MLAs owing allegiance to the Dinakaran faction told the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners that according to the AIADMK by-laws, a general council meeting can be convened only by the general secretary or a person authorised by the top office-bearer. This comes as a setback for TTV Dhinakaran who was hell-bent on throwing Palaniswami out of the government. In other major decisions, the General Council altered the party's organisational structure to a collective leadership structure.

Citing pending disqualification proceedings against 19 MLAs loyal to Dhinkaran after their rebellion against Chief Minister K Palaniswami, the petitioners submitted that they apprehended that the Speaker might disqualify the legislators.

The rebel leader threatened to pull down the government "to save the AIADMK", the ruling party in Tamil Nadu that has been in turmoil since the death of its supremo J Jayalalithaa in December previous year. The Dhinakaran camp claims a support of 19 MLAs.

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