AIADMK confident of winning trust vote; may score 122/233 in House

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AIADMK whip issued a direction to all the 133 members be present in the Assemb

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Assembly is all set for the key floor test on the confidence motion to be moved by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palanisami on Saturday, with the two factions of AIADMK and DMK issuing clear directions to its members, while the stand of Congress and OPS camps remains a little unclear.

AIADMK whip R. Rajendran issued a direction to all the 133 members barring Speaker P. Dhanapal to be present in the Assembly and support the motion. He held a meeting at Koovathur with party legislators present at the resort and gave instructions to support the trust vote The members not present at Koovathur resort had also been directed to vote for the motion. Minister O.S. Manian warned that those who disobeyed the whip would be disqualified after due process.

Meanwhile, O. Panneerselvam’s camp “removed” AIADMK general secretary V. K. Sasikala and her two relatives from the party for “going against its principles and ideals”.

The faction led by former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam did not reveal their stand, but they met the Speaker and held discussions for about 30 minutes. It is said that they had sought secret voting and the Speaker seems to have rejected their plea.

With the sword of disqualification hanging over their head, it is not known how many of Panneerselvam’s supporters will go ahead and vote against the motion. As the Congress had not announced a clear stand, the rebel MLAs have no assurance about a nail-biting finish too and a possible defeat of the motion.

Security has been beefed up in several parts of the state including Coimbatore and Chennai as WhatsApp messages asking peo-ple to gather for a protest in support of Panneerselvam are doing the rounds.

Constitutional experts say the Governor keep the Assembly in suspended animation and give a chance to another group which stakes claim to form the government. From their opinions it can be inferred that leader of Oppo-sition M.K. Stalin could be invited if he is ready to form a government.

Justice D. Hariparanthaman, former judge of the Madras high court, said “If Palaniswamy fails to prove his majority on the floor of the assembly in the vote of confidence, then the decision will be taken by the Governor with the consultation of the President of India”

He said “Normally, the Governor may keep the assembly in ‘suspended animation’ to enable any other group to form the government. If no group is able to form the government, then the assembly will be dissolved and elections will be held. In the meantime, President’s Rule will be imposed under Article 356 of the Constitution”.

ly and support the motion.

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