- E K Palaniswami won the trust vote with 122 votes in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.
- The day saw massive disruptions by the DMK, which sought to delay the vote.
After a day of massive drama in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, E K Palaniswami has won the trust vote, which will allow him to continue as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Sasikala's choice, Palaniswami won the vote with 122 votes. He needed 71 votes to prove his majority. 11 MLAs voted against him and the rest of the opposition walked out.
The House witnessed bedlam when DMK members gheraoed Speaker P Dhanapal seeking a secret ballot for the trust vote, who subsequently left the House with marshals escorting him, stalling the proceedings.
Amid scenes of ruckus, they also wanted adjournment of the House to facilitate the legislators to go back to their constituencies and seek the opinion of people before they could cast their vote.
As Dhanapal was pushed and shoved in the commotion, Assembly marshals stepped in and safely escorted him out with no clarity on whether the House has been adjourned or not.
For a very brief distance, in order to help the Speaker come down from his elevated podium, he was physically carried by the Assembly watch and ward staff. The House met again shortly thereafter, similar scenes were witnessed with opposition DMK members pressing for secret ballot.
The Speaker rejected their demand, saying there was no provision for secret ballot and asked the Chief Minister to move the confidence motion which he duly did.
At this again ruckus broke out in the House, prompting the Speaker to order eviction of DMK MLAs. But as the DMK MLAs resisted the attempts by the House marshals to remove them, the Speaker left the House saying the proceedings would resume at 3 PM.
Earlier, as the House met to facilitate the vote of confidence by Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami, opposition benches and the O Panneerselvam camp demanded a secret ballot.
Besides Panneerselvam, his supporters S Semmalai and former minister K Pandiarajan, Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin, Congress Legislature Party leader K R Ramasamy, IUML member Abubacker and Mylapore member R Nataraj pressed for voting by secret ballot.
They also said the legislators should be allowed to visit their constituencies and seek the opinion of the people before casting their vote.
After listening to the views of all members, Dhanapal said MLAs could cast their vote in a free and fair manner. He assured security to all the members.
However, DMK members continued to voice their demand and gathered around the Speaker's podium, repeatedly raising slogan "adjourn the House". Several opposition members stood up around Dhanapal and surrounded his chair from all sides. Some of them were seen throwing away the table and microphone placed in front of the Speaker's chair, leading to commotion and tumult.
The chairs and table of Assembly Secretary A M P Jamaludeen in front of Dhanapal was also taken away and put up in a corner by some DMK members.
Papers and books were thrown at random, across the Treasury benches from the opposition side. A member was seen removing a bell on the table of the Speaker. While ruling AIADMK members including the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues sat through the unruly scenes silently, DMK members continued slogan shouting.
Dhanapal repeatedly asked them if their action was fair and said it was not proper. However, nothing much could be heard in the din. At one point of time, DMK members came shoulder to shoulder with the Speaker and demanded that he adjourn the House immediately.
Soon after the Speaker left, Chief Minister Palaniswami, and state Ministers including Dindigul C Srinivasan, K A Sengottaiyan, and P Thangamani also left. DMK and AIADMK members continued to stay put though Stalin and Duriamurugan moved out of the House after Palaniswami left. Hundreds of police personnel were deployed in the Assembly complex to prevent any untoward incident.
Palaniswami, elected AIADMK Legislature Party leader after predecessor and party chief Sasikala was convicted by Supreme Court in the disproportionate assets case, was sworn-in Chief Minister on February 14 by Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao who asked him to prove his majority within 15 days.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:55 PM