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No floor test in TN Assembly till Sept 20: Madras HC

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami | K K sundar

The unified ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on Thursday asserted that it has enough MLAs to prove its majority in the Assembly, and it was not necessary to conduct a floor test at this juncture.

Sidelined AIADMK (Amma) deputy chief Dhinakaran had last week called on the state's Governor, Ch Vidyasagar Rao, to take action on the plea seeking ouster of Chief Minister K Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam and the demand for a fresh floor test in the Assembly.

Since there is apprehension that 19 rebel MLAs may be disqualified and floor test conducted for the trust vote without giving any time to the MLAs to challenge the Speaker's order, the judge said he was of the view that the authorities shall not conduct the trust vote, in the interest of justice, till September 20.

Speaker P. Dhanapal has also issued notices for breach of privilege to the DMK MLAs for displaying banned tobacco product "gutkha" in the assembly.

The AIADMK, in its general council meeting, passed a resolution, according to which jailed party general secretary V.K. Sasikala stands expelled from the party and the post of the temporary general secretary forfeited.

"I have 21 MLAs with me and these are the MLAs who did not attend Tuesday's meeting", Dinakaran said.

He alleged that the legislators were threatened with dire consequences if they didn't return the faction under chief minister Edappadi Palanisami, also known as EPS.

N Raja Senthoor Pandian, who represented Dhinakaran's 18 loyalist MLAs, said protection of Karnataka police was sought for legislators to appear before the Speaker for final hearing, he said, flanked by MLA P Vetrivel. "You (EPS-OPS) claim you have the support of party workers, so if you have the guts, let us face fresh elections", he said. He said the State government enjoyed majority as all "134 AIADMK MLAs" supported it. A seat is lying vacant after the death of Jayalalithaa.

The resolution further said that the Palanisamy and his deputy, Panneerselvam, shall retrieve the party and its symbol.

Vijila Sathyananth, of the Dhinakaran faction, told the media in Chennai that the faction would soon hold a general council meet of the party after the consent of their general secretary - VK Sasikala.

The DMK and the Dinakaran faction fear that the Speaker would act against the 19 lawmakers so that the government wins the floor test.