The DMK has moved the Madras High Court challenging the floor test that took place in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Saturday. AIADMK leader E Palaniswami had won the trust vote after proving he had the support of 122 MLAs, but the proceedings were marred by violence.
MK Stalin with DMK MLAs outside the Tamil Nadu Assembly. PTI
According to a report in The Times of India, former DMK Rajya Sabha member R Shanmugasundaram mentioned the matter before the first bench on Monday and sought an urgent hearing. The bench of acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice R Mahadevan asked him to file a petition. The report said it could be heard on Tuesday.
This comes a day after the DMK called for a state-wide hunger strike on 22 February, to protest the fracas that took place inside the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Saturday while a floor test was taking place to determine the confidence enjoyed by chief minister E Palaniswami. DMK working president MK Stalin called the floor test a "murder of democracy", and appealed to governor C Vidyasagar Rao to nullify the vote of confidence won by Palaniswami.
According to a separate report in The Times of India, violent protests were being held throughout Monday in various parts of Tamil Nadu. A DMK worker from Pudukottai, Thangam, attempted to immolate himself, while a group of cadres in Tiruvarur staged a daylong hunger strike, the report said. In Trichy, police arrested 19 persons for burning an effigy of speaker P Dhanapal, while in Pudokottai, a DMK worker attempted self-immolation but was rescued by party cadres. Meanwhile in Karur, 26 persons, including the district secretary, were arrested for forcing traders to down their shutters during a protest march.
Palaniswami had won the trust vote by a 122-11 margin on Saturday, after the eviction of DMK members and walkout by its allies, amid stormy scenes during which mikes were uprooted, chairs toppled and sheets of papers torn and hurled around. Immediately after the eviction of DMK, Stalin had met Governor Vidyasagar Rao and urged him to postpone the trust vote.
Recalling his demand for secret voting on the motion of confidence moved by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Speaker P Dhanapal's rejection of it, he said, "Finding no other way to register our protest, we resorted to peaceful dharna inside the House. However, the Speaker ordered expulsion of all the members of the DMK without following the procedure."
"The Assembly guards forcibly evicted us and many of us sustained injuries. Other opposition parties staged a walkout strongly protesting the action of speaker," he said.
The DMK leader claimed that the speaker "ignored the rule that if the House is adjourned after moving a motion, it lapses". He said it was "a mockery of democracy and a severe blow to the Constitution".
He cited a 1988 precedence, "when voting on a Confidence Motion was held by the Speaker with only two factions of the ruling party present in the House. (It was) later declared as invalid and void by the then governor".
He also appealed to the Governor to weigh the proceedings in the state Assembly, focusing on the Speaker's declaration that the Confidence Motion moved by Palanisami was adopted in absence of members of all the opposition parties. It urged him to invoke his Constitutional powers to nullify the proceedings to protect the spirit of democracy and Constitution.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Feb 22, 2017 12:28:35 IST