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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2010

Tamil Nadu Speaker disqualifies 18 dissident AIADMK MLAs

From Gopal Ethiraj
Chennai, 19 September, (Asiantribune.com):

The Speaker of Tamil Nadu's State Assembly, P. Dhanapal, on Monday (Sept 18) disqualified 18 MLAs loyal to ousted AIADMK ‘general secretary’ V K Sasikala and ‘deputy general secretary’ TTV Dinakaran.

The action against 18 MLAs backing Dinakaran, who had revolted against Chief Minister K. Palaniswami, was taken under Tamil Nadu Assembly Members anti-defection and disqualification rules of 1986 formed in accordance with the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, the Speaker said in his order.

Before taking action, Assembly Speaker Dhanapal had asked the rebels to rebut charges of anti-party activity by Friday. The Speaker had also issued notices to all dissident MLAs seeking their individual presence before him, but they had, however, not turned up. Earlier, Chief Government Whip S. Rajendran had urged the Speaker to disqualify the said MLAs for “anti-party activities”.

The Tamil Nadu Assembly secretariat on Monday informed the Election Commission of India that 18 constituencies in the state are vacant, following disqualification of rebel MLAs. Also, steps have been taken to remove the names of the 18 legislators from the government's website and to make them vacate their rooms at the MLAs hostel in the city.

The names of AIADMK MLAs against whom action was taken by the Assembly Speaker are: Thanga Tamilselvan (Andipatti), V. Senthil Balaji (Arsavakurichi), P. Vetrivel (Perambur), P. Palaniappan (Papireddipatti), M. Kothandapani (Thirupporur), R. Murugan (Arur), Balasubramanian (Ambur), Umamaheshwari (Vilathikulam), S Muthiah (Paramakudi), T A. Elumalai (Poondamalli), N G Parthiban (Solingar), Jayanthi Padmanabhan (Gudiyattam), R.Sunderraj (Ottapidaram, R Thangadurai (Nilakottai), K. Kadirkamu (Periyakulam), M. Rengaswami (Thanjavur), S G Subramanian (Sathur) and Kennedy Mariappan (Manamadurai).

The dissident camp were 19 before. One of the dissident MLAs S K T Jakkaiyan had switched camps to support Palaniswami a few days before.

The rebel MLAs, loyal to Dinakaran, had been demanding the removal of K Palaniswami as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. They met the Governor of Tamil Nadu Ch. Vidyasagar Rao last few weeks to remove him. The DMK and Dinakaran's group had also urged the Governor to ask EPS to prove his majority.

Dinakaran had earlier moved the Madras High Court amid apprehensions about possible disqualification of the ruling AIADMK MLAs backing him by the Speaker. The Madras High Court had then ordered that no floor test be conducted in State Assembly till September 20.

Dinakaran, as well as the Opposition DMK, had told the court that the Palaniswami government has been reduced to a minority after 19 lawmakers submitted letters withdrawing their support. In the 234-member State Assembly, the Chief Minister has the assured support of 112 lawmakers. In case of a trust vote, the EPS government could have been three short of a majority. With the disqualification now of 18 legislators, the half-way mark has come down to 107, which means the Chief Minister will pass through a test of strength.

Last week Dinakaran had warned that he will throw the Palaniswami-led government in Tamil Nadu after the ruling AIADMK General Council on September 12, removed him and his aunt V K Sasikala from top positions in the party.
Sasikala was appointed as General Secretary last December following the death of party supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. And Sasikala had appointed Dinakaran as Deputy General Secretary before going to jail.

The AIADMK general council besides ratifying the recent merger of the two factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, declared the late J Jayalaithaa as the party's ''eternal general secretary''. The general council also resolved to restore all those who were party office bearers appointed by Jayalalithaa. They will continue to hold office now. The council also nullified all the decisions taken by Dinakaran.

- Asian Tribune -

 P. Dhanapal -  Speaker of Tamil Nadu's State Assembly
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