Tamil Nadu political drama continues as 19 pro-Dinakaran MLAs seek E Palaniswamy's removal as CM

A day after drama unfolded at the AIADMK office in Chennai on Monday where "merger architects", E Palaniswamy and O Panneerselvam decided to bury their seven-month-old hatchet, 19 MLAs, owing allegiance to sidelined party leader TTV Dinakaran, told Governor Vidyasagar Rao on Tuesday that they don’t support the E Palaniswamy government.

The MLAs asked the governor to intervene as the government is technically in a minority without their support. It is not clear if they have conveyed their intention to bring in a no-confidence motion against the government in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.


"We don't have confidence in the chief minister. What is the need to give the deputy chief minister's post to Panneerselvam who had levelled charges of corruption against this government earlier," an MLA, who was part of the team that met the governor, said requesting anonymity.

File image of TTV Dinakaran. PTI

File image of TTV Dinakaran. PTI

He said 122 AIADMK MLAs had supported Palaniswamy at the behest of jailed party chief VK Sasikala during the 18 February trust vote while Panneerselvam had voted against the government.

He said the chief minister should have held consultations with all the party MLAs before the merger of the two factions. "So we have briefed the governor and said that the chief minister should be removed," the MLA added.

The MLA lashed out at Panneerselvam, alleging that he had accepted the merger "only for posts" and asked if this was the deputy chief minister's "dharma yudh" as claimed by him earlier.

Raj Bhavan sources confirmed that the meeting took place between the MLAs and the governor, but did not divulge details, including about the number of the delegation.

Yesterday, around 18 MLAs were reported to have attended a meeting held by Dinakaran, the party's deputy general secretary and nephew of party chief V K Sasikala, at his residence.

One of the MLAs P Vetrivel had last night claimed that Dinakaran enjoyed the support of 25 MLAs. Of the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, the AIADMK has 134 MLAs excluding the Speaker. Late chief minister Jayalalithaa's RK Nagar constituency is still vacant.

Opposition DMK has 89 seats followed by its allies Congress with eight and IUML one seat.

Updated Date: Aug 22, 2017 13:07 PM

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