In the latest political development in Tamil Nadu, leader of the legislative party for the Congress KR Ramasamy has asked Governor Vidyasagar Rao to direct Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami to prove his majority.
This only raises the possibility of yet another floor test in the TN Assembly, after EPS managed to survive the floor test after being sworn in as the Chief Minister in February. Currently, there are concerns whether the united EPS-OPS factions of the AIADMK can prove their majority in the Assembly, as 19 MLAs close to TTV Dhinakaran have withdrawn their support to the Chief Minister.
In his letter to the Governor on Wednesday, Ramasamy mentioned the Supreme Court judgment in the SR Bommai Case. He said, āAny inordinate delay in asking the Chief Minister to prove his majority in the instant case will pave the way for the continuance of an unconstitutional government and it will destabilise the democratic norms and precedents established in demonstrating confidence of the House.ā
He also suggested any delay would facilitate āhorse tradingā among the MLAs. āIt will also give room for the evil practice of horse trading, which occurred when the incumbent Chief Minister proved his majority on an earlier confidence motion,ā he added.
The letter written by Ramasamy comes after 19 MLAs of the TTV Dhinakaran/Sasikala faction of the AIADMK expressed āno confidenceā in the Chief Minister. They also submitted individual petitions to the Governor stating the same.
The 19 MLAs also said that they were not consulted regarding the merger within the party, while O Panneerselvam who had the support of just 10 MLAs was given prime importance.
According to CR Saraswathi, spokesperson of the faction, the TTV faction currently enjoys the support of 22 MLAs. Currently, at least 16 MLAs of the faction are in Puducherry's Windflower Resort, as directed by TTV.
Speaking to TNM on Tuesday, constitutional expert Subash Kashyap said that with the Assembly not in session, the Governor has the discretion to call the Chief Minister to take a floor test to prove his majority as it was in 1990, when President R Venkatraman ordered then Prime Minister VP Singh to summon the House and seek a vote of confidence.