DMK Whip R Sakkrapani stated that the 11 rebel AIADMK MLAs had defied the party whip by voting against CM EPS in February.

Disqualify OPS and 10 MLAs for voting against EPS in Feb trust vote DMK moves Madras HC
news Politics Monday, September 25, 2017 - 18:19

Even as the Madras High Court has refused to stay the recent disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs, the Opposition DMK’s whip R Sakkrapani filed a petition before the same court seeking the disqualification of Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and 10 MLAs.

Sakkrapani, an MLA from Oddanchatram constituency, sought their disqualification on the grounds that the 11 rebel AIADMK MLAs had defied their party whip by voting against Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami in the February trust vote. In his petition before the High Court, the DMK whip added that Arunkumar, MLA (Pollachi Legislative Constituency) abstained himself without the permission of the party.

Sakkrapani in his petition also claimed that the 11 MLAs including O Panneerselvam were not condoned within 15 days of voting by AIADMK. “I submit that despite lapse of more than 6 months, even the notices were not issued showing the complete malafide and partisan behaviour of the 2nd Respondent (Speaker Dhanapal). I humbly submit that under Para 2 (1) (b) of the 10th Schedule if a member of the House votes against the whip and such conduct in not condoned within 15 days then such member is disqualified for being member of the House on the ground of defection,” states Sakkrapani.

The DMK whip also accused Speaker Dhanapal of behaving in a partisan manner, working on the dictates of Chief Minister Palaniswami and in contrast to constitutional principles. Pointing out that two defection petitions were filed by AIADMK legislators led by P Vetrivel against the 11 MLAs, no notice was issued by the Speaker. However, in complete contrast, 18 MLAs belonging to Deputy General Secretary TTV Dhinakaran faction, were issued notices and disqualified in three weeks, he states.

He also moved the court seeking to restrain the Assembly Privilege Committee from issuing orders on the matter related to 21 DMK MLAs carrying gutkha packets in the House. The Madras High Court had earlier restrained the Privilege Committee from taking action on the 21 DMK MLAs including Leader of Opposition MK Stalin till September 14.

Last Monday, 18 AIADMK MLAs were disqualified by Speaker Dhanapal on the grounds that they had voluntarily given up their party membership. This as they had in August met Governor Vidyasagar Rao and expressed their lack of confidence in Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami.

Their disqualification reduced the strength of the Tamil Nadu Assembly from 233 to 215, thereby reduced the magic number to 108.

CM EPS, who has the support the 111 MLAs would be able to scrape through in the event of a floor test in the Assembly.

However, the Madras High Court had last Wednesday refused to stay their disqualification, it ordered a stay on notifying bypolls to the 18 seats that have fallen vacant. The court also extended a stay on the floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.


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