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DMK slams Tamil Nadu guv, demands resignation of CM Palaniswamy, Assembly speaker P Dhanapal

Chennai: The DMK on Tuesday accused Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao for not ordering a floor test for the Palaniswamy government and instead allowing it to continue for nearly a month after it "lost majority" and said this led to a "black episode" in the state's politics.

A meeting of the party MLAs, convened to take stock of the political situation in the backdrop of disqualification of 18 rebel AIADMK legislators, demanded the resignation of Chief Minister K Palaniswamy and Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal. The DMK MLAs resolved to abide by whatever decision MK Stalin took to safeguard the welfare of the state people and support him in his legal endeavours to remove the ruling AIADMK.

Though Palaniswamy had "lost majority" following the 22 August revolt by 19 AIADMK MLAs against him, Rao had not directed a floor test and allowed the government to continue for nearly a month, resulting in an "an uncertain government", a meeting of the DMK MLAs said. The meeting, convened by party Working President and Leader of the Opposition in the assembly Stalin, also criticised the disqualification of 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs by Dhanapal, alleging that it was an "autocratic misuse" of the powers of the Speaker.

 DMK slams Tamil Nadu guv, demands resignation of CM Palaniswamy, Assembly speaker P Dhanapal

File image of MK Stalin. PTI

The meeting recalled that DMK and its allies had repeatedly knocked at the doors of the governor with pleas for a floor test for the Palaniswamy government. The governor had not heeded their demands despite Palaniswamy lacking the required support of 117 MLAs in the 234-member assembly with one vacancy following the revolt by 19 MLAs, it said.

"But the governor not directing a floor test and allowing a government that had lost majority to continue has resulted in an uncertain government staying in power. This meeting records that this is a black episode in Tamil Nadu politics," a resolution adopted by the MLAs said.

The Governor, Palaniswamy and Dhanapal had 'joined hands' to ensure majority and save the government, and had used the anti-defection rules for this purpose which
ad "hit the lifeline of democratic ethos", the resolution alleged.

The Speaker had "misused" anti-defection rules to aid the chief minister who was being helped by the governor also, the meeting charged. By doing so, the Speaker "has lost neutrality," it alleged.

"This meeting insists the central BJP government which is just watching the scams and anti-democratic activities of the ruling AIADMK and the governor who is aiding Palaniswamy should assume responsibility for the political crisis that has engulfed Tamil Nadu.

"The Speaker who has lost his neutrality, and Palaniswamy who is desperate to retain power through short-cut means, should resign immediately to uphold the sanctity of the Constitution and the Assembly," the meeting resolved. The "hurried" disqualification of 18 MLAs owing allegiance to sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran on Monday came in the wake of DMK moving the Madras High Court seeking a floor test in the Assembly, it said.

"This meeting condemns the autocratic misuse of powers by the Speaker" the opposition MLAs resolved. In another resolution, they criticised Palaniswamy and his deputy O Panneerselvam for turning the government meetings of ongoing centenary celebrations of AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran into 'political' platforms to target DMK.

Later, speaking to reporters, Stalin accused the Governor of working under "Delhi's instructions" and said the AIADMK government's "days are numbered".

The disqualification of the dissident AIADMK MLAs would not stand legal scrutiny, he claimed. He also questioned what action had been taken against then rebel leader Panneerselvam and his supporters for voting against the Palaniswamy government in the 18 February trust vote.

Stalin parried a question on possible en masse resignation of DMK MLAs on the issue and said their next course of action would be based on the outcome of the DMK's petition in the Madras High Court seeking floor test. "We are confident that we will get justice in the court," he said.

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Updated Date: Sep 20, 2017 08:14:22 IST