Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker Dhanapal issued notices to Dhinakaran’s loyalists and AIADMK MLAs Kallakurichi legislator Prabhu, Kalaiselvan (Vriddhachalam) and Rathinasabapathy (Aranthangi) based on a petition filed by chief government whip S Rajendran on April 26
Coimbatore: Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami on Wednesday flayed DMK president MK Stalin for seeking Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal's removal for issuing notices to three AIADMK MLAs siding with the rival leader and AMMK founder TTV Dhinakaran, saying it showed the "proximity" between the two opposition parties.
The AIADMK joint coordinator sought to know why Stalin, the leader of the opposition in the Assembly, was "getting outraged" over the ruling party's internal affairs and said he did not know on what basis the DMK moved the resolution seeking the Speaker's removal.
However, Dhanapal, on Tuesday issued notices to three AIADMK MLAs loyal to TTV Dhinakaran, the general secretary of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), days after the ruling party petitioned the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker for action against them for alleged anti-party activities.
The notices were issued to Kallakurichi legislator A Prabhu, VT Kalaiselvan (Vriddhachalam) and E Rathinasabapathy (Aranthangi) based on a petition filed by chief government whip S Rajendran on April 26, seeking "due legal action" against them.
Speaking to reporters, Palaniswami said, "The whip had given the complaint against the AIADMK MLAs for anti-party activities. But I don't know why the leader of the opposition is getting outraged like this. They are not members of their organisation (DMK)."
"The kind of statements made by them (DMK) and them getting outraged has shown very clearly the proximity between the DMK and AMMK," he told reporters.
The chief minister reiterated that the chief government whip had sought action against the three MLAs as "they had gone against" the AIADMK and questioned the rationale behind Stalin's action.
On Tuesday, DMK, which has been opposing any action on the AIADMK petition, had dubbed Dhanapal's move "murder of democracy" and handed over to the Assembly secretary a resolution seeking the Speaker's removal from the post.
The DMK and MDMK have opposed any possible disqualification of the three MLAs, claiming that the AIADMK move was "only to protect" the Palaniswami government as it will 'lose' majority after the results of the by-polls to 22 Assembly seats are declared.
By-polls were held to 18 Assembly seats on April 18, and four more segments will go for by-elections on May 19.
Rajendran had on April 26 approached Dhanapal for "due legal action" against the three MLAs for alleged anti-party activities against the backdrop of them siding with Dhinakaran.
The move has sparked speculation about another round of disqualification of the ruling party legislators after Dhanapal had stripped 18 pro-Dhinakaran AIADMK MLAs of their Assembly membership in September 2017 under the anti-defection law.
They were disqualified for revolting against Palaniswami in August 2017 after he merged the faction led by him with the group headed by then rebel leader O Panneerselvam, now the deputy chief minister.
In the 234-member state Assembly with 22 vacancies, the AIADMK has a strength of 113, excluding the Speaker. The simple majority mark in the full House is 117. The principal opposition DMK along with its allies, including the Congress, has 97 MLAs.
Incidentally, two MLAs of AIADMK's alliance parties, designated as its members in the Assembly records since they contested on its symbol, have shown signs of stress with the ruling party.
Legislator S Karunas, leader of Mukkulathor Puli Padai, has been anti-government for some time, while Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi MLA M Thamimun Ansari, a strident BJP critic, backed the DMK-led alliance in the Lok Sabha polls after the AIADMK struck a poll pact with the saffron party.
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Last Updated 2, May 2019, 10:44 AM