- A delegation of Opposition leaders met President Ram Nath Kovind on August 31 and sought an immediate floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly
- Their demand is that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami must prove his majority in the assembly
- The delegation said that the Palaniswami government had lost majority support as 19 MLAs owing allegiance to the TTV Dhinakaran faction
Stepping up the campaign, a delegation of Opposition leaders met President Ram Nath Kovind on August 31 and sought an immediate floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly so that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami proves his majority.
Leaders from the DMK, the Congress, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI (M)) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) told the President that the Palaniswami government had lost majority support as 19 MLAs owing allegiance to the TTV Dhinakaran faction in the AIADMK have told the Governor that they have withdrawn support to the Chief Minister.
Congress leader Anand Sharma, who was part of the delegation, told reporters: “We met Rashtrapatiji to convey our grave concerns over the political instability and uncertainty in Tamil Nadu because the Chief Minister has lost majority.”
He said the opposition leaders in Tamil Nadu had met the Governor urging him to convene an urgent session of the Assembly and ask the Chief Minister to prove his majority on the floor of the House.
“It is the settled constitutional position. We have collectively conveyed this to the President. We have conveyed in writing that 21 MLAs have told the Governor about withdrawing support to the state government,” Sharma said. After 19 AIADMK MLAs withdrew support to the Chief Minister, two more MLAs joined them.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said if there was an uncertainty of numbers in any Assembly or Parliament, the only way open “which the judiciary and Presidency of India has always adhered to” was to test the majority in the House.
“The point is that any government will have to enjoy the majority of the elected legislators. That can be demonstrated and established only on the floor of the House. So our demand is immediately convene the Assembly and let the confidence motion be put to vote,” Yechury said.
DMK leader Kanimozhi reiterated the demand for a full-time Governor for Tamil Nadu. Currently, Maharashtra Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao is holding additional charge of Tamil Nadu.
“We have been raising this time and again that Tamil Nadu does not have a full-time Governor. It is of great concern as it is an important State going through a crisis,” she said.
Responding to a question on AIADMK leaders claiming the rift was just “an internal issue”, Kanimozhi said it could not be called an internal issue even after MLAs withdrew their support.
“Every MLA has submitted the letter to the governor withdrawing their support. We cannot call it an internal issue of the party. When OPS demanded a floor test earlier, the governor called for it, but it is surprising why he has not taken action in this case,” Kanimozhi said.
Besides Sharma, Yechury and Kanimozhi, CPI leader D Raja and DMK Rajya Sabha MPs Tiruchi Siva, ‘Alandur’ RS Bharathi and TKS Elangovan were part of the delegation.
Speaking to reporters, Raja said, “Tamil Nadu politics is in dire straits today and its foundation has been questioned. The Governor should have acted in accordance with the Constitution by calling for a floor test.”
Siva said, “The ruling AIADMK only has the support of 113 MLAs pushing it below the majority mark. Whereas around 120 MLAs in the assembly are against the ruling party. We have explained it to the President.”
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:48 PM