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  India   Politics  19 Feb 2017  Tamil Nadu Chief Minister wins amid ruckus

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister wins amid ruckus

THE ASIAN AGE. | S THIRUNAVUKARASU
Published : Feb 19, 2017, 1:44 am IST
Updated : Feb 19, 2017, 3:55 am IST

The ruckus began after the Speaker turned down the Opposition’s request for either a secret ballot or postponement of the vote.

Chief Minister 'Edappadi' K Palaniswami being presenting a floral bouquet by Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao after he taking the oath as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu during the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Chennai. (Photo: PTI)
 Chief Minister 'Edappadi' K Palaniswami being presenting a floral bouquet by Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao after he taking the oath as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu during the swearing-in ceremony at Raj Bhavan in Chennai. (Photo: PTI)

Chennai: Chief minister Edappadi K. Palanisami on Saturday won a controversial vote of confidence in Tamil Nadu’s 234-member Assembly where about 100 Opposition MLAs were missing after unprecedented mayhem. 

The victory of jailed AIADMK chief V.K. Sasikala’s loyalist came after MLAs came to blows, ripping papers, yanking out mics, breaking chairs and toppling tables.

The ruckus began after the Speaker turned down the Opposition’s request for either a secret ballot or postponement of the vote. Four MLAs had their shirts torn and one lost his dhoti in the mêlée. 

Speaker P. Dhanapal, who said he was roughed up and his shirt torn, had all the 88 DMK MLAs thrown out of the House before announcing that 122 AIADMK MLAs supported the vote and only 11, led by rebel leader O. Panneerselvam, opposed it.

Eight Congress members and the lone IUML MLA had also walked out by then. The Opposition called the vote “undemocratic,” urging the governor to intervene. 

State governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao had sworn in Mr Palanisami on Thursday, two days after the Supreme Court convicted Ms Sasikala, then locked in a succession war with acting CM Panneerselvam, of corruption.  “What was the hurry to hold the confidence vote in 48 hours. The governor had given 15 days (to Palanisami) to prove his majority in the House,” said DMK leader M.K. Stalin. 

The Speaker retorted: “The Opposition leader had earlier faulted the governor for giving 15 days for the confidence vote, saying such a long period of wait would lead to all sorts of malpractices (horse-trading), but now he is questioning the early vote. I cannot shift my stand to suit your changing demands”. 

Congress leader K. R. Ramasamy argued with the Speaker saying even if he had no power under the Assembly rules to order a secret ballot, he can still order an adjournment so that the MLAs could come back after gathering public views in their constituencies. “This would be fair, just and democratic”, he pleaded.

Later, when the Speaker got ready to order voting on the confidence resolution after two adjournments amid chaos, Mr Ramasamy announced he was leading the Congress group of eight in walkout “because this vote is being conducted in an undemocratic manner”. Lone IUML MLA Abu Backer, a DMK ally, also walked out.

The succession war began in Tamil Nadu after then CM Jayalalithaa died of illness in December 2016. Mr Panneerselvam resigned for Ms Sasikala to be the CM, but he dramatically revolted against her, saying he was forced to quit.

Tags: edappadi k palanisami, v.k. sasikala, o. panneerselvam
Location: India, Tamil Nadu, Chennai (Madras)