September 19, 2017
Chennai: Opposition in Tamil Nadu led by DMK working president MK Stalin is planning to take a tough stand on the ongoing political imbroglio even as acting governor C Vidyasagar Rao airdashes to Chennai. Chief minister Edapaddi Palanisami is to meet the governor to brief him about the developments on a day when 18 pro-TTV Dinakaran MLAs challenged their disqualification in the Madras High Court.
DMK sources indicate that one of the options the DMK was considering was to offer resignation of all its MLAs as a means of protest against murder of democracy and instead take the issue to the people.
The High Court will take up the DMK’s case for directions to governor to convene early assembly for a floor test on Wednesday as also the petition of pro-Dinakkaran MLAs challenging their disqualification amid sharp division over the issue of whether the Speaker’s decision would pass legal scrutiny. The speaker’s interpretation of the anti-defection law and its application to the Dinakaran MLAs has come into sharp focus with legal experts questioning its logic and relevance to the current situation.
But, defending the decision, AIADMK leader KC Palanisamy declared that the rebel MLAs were begging for disqualification as they colluded with the DMK, in writing to governor and also in seeking trust vote with a clear cut stated intention to bring down their own party government. So the speaker had a valid case for disqualifying the MLAs. Besides, the speaker had given three notices to the MLAs to explain, which they failed to do so to the satisfaction of speaker P Dhanpal.
Justice K Chandru, retired Madras High Court judge, said that the disqualified MLAs may not get relief from the court and even if they get a stay on disqualification, the party will come with a whip and they will have to follow it. If not, they would be disqualified by the speaker, who will still be powerful even though the government fell as the house would be under suspended animation.
The governor in future could explore formation of another government but chance will be given to the leader with the highest number of MLAs and in this case, EPS, and given time to prove majority. He would have as the rebel MLAs would have lost membership completely as they would have voted against the party whip, speaking purely hypothetically.
But, former speaker, S Muthaiah, held the disqualification faulty and guilty. The MLAs did not shift to any other party and did not vote against the government in the assembly, so there is nothing illegal they have done. For this reason, the anti-defection law is not applicable on 18 MLAs of Dinakaran camp.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy felt that the Speaker’s decision will be thrown out by the court, which will take up for hearing on Wednesday.
DMK spokesperson A Sarvanan quoted DMK working president as saying that it was nothing but a cold blooded murder of democracy and an effort to turn minority government into a majority. The DMK has also moved the court to issue directions to the governor to convene assembly for an immediate floor test.
But in the meanwhile, the disqualification issue has also come up.
The DMK is understood to be taking an out of the box view of the whole issue and could come up with a political bouncer – to resign en mass – and go to the peoples’ court. Stalin has already said that they will take the issue to the people and tell them how democracy was murdered by the ruling party in the state and at the centre. The DMK chief has convened a meeting of his MLAs to chalk out future course of action.
It is learnt that even the Congress MLAs could join in the DMK protest by quitting their assembly seats. There are 8 Congress MLAs in the house. The DMK has 89 members of its own.