Published: Sat, February 18, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

It's conscience vs trust as Edappadi government awaits fate

It's conscience vs trust as Edappadi government awaits fate

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami won a dramatic trust vote on Saturday after opposition DMK legislators were thrown out for unprecedented violence and Congress MLAs walked of the assembly.

Soon after the Speaker left, Chief Minister Palaniswami, and state Ministers including Dindigul C Srinivasan, K A Sengottaiyan, and P Thangamani also left.

Incidentally, it was a succession row that triggered a faction war in AIADMK that had prompted a floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly in January 1988, when Janaki, widow of M G Ramachandran, succeeded him in the midst of a bitter rivalry involving Jayalalithaa.

The governor had given Palaniswami 15 days to prove his majority but the CM chose to take the floor test immediately - apparently over concerns that the lawmakers confined in the resort were getting anxious.

Stalin immediately dashed off to the Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor and complain about the incidents.

Stalin also accused the officials of meting out "prisoner-like" treatment to the dignitaries.

Her hopes were dashed when the Supreme Court sent her to prison for four years in a two-decade-old corruption case, prompting her to name Palaniswami as her successor and brought two nephews into the party who were expelled by Jayalalithaa.

Another opposition MLA, Selvam sat on Speaker's chair in protest, even as microphones and chairs were broken.

Earlier former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, retired IPS officer and Mylapore MLA R Nataraj and DMK Working President and opposition leader MK Stalin demanded that the trust vote be postponed to another day. Going berserk, the DMK MLAs reportedly tore Speaker's clothes following which the assembly marshals were ordered to evict them.

The Speaker rejected their demand, saying there was no provision for secret ballot and asked the Chief Minister to move the confidence motion which he duly did.

Mediapersons were seen arguing with the police outside the assembly, following which the audio speaker in the press room was disconnected.

AIADMK presidium chairman E. Madhusudhanan and AIADMK treasurer O. Panneerselvam in the letter said they have appointed S.Semmalai as the party whip, prior to the motion of confidence.

Sasikala then handpicked her loyalist Palaniswami, who was elected AIADMK legislature party leader, and staked claim to form the government on Tuesday.

"MLAs should be given time to hear the views of their constituency people".

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