August 24, 2017
Edapaddi Palanisami government is contemplating disqualifying the rebel MLAs “for their anti-party activities. Already, the government side has made appropriate moves with AIADMK chief whip S Rajendran formally requesting speaker P Dhanpal to ‘disqualify’ the 19 MLAs who are camping at sea-side resort at Puducherry.
TN Speaker Dhanapal has already issued notices to the 19 MLAs asking them to clarify why they should not be disqualified under the anti-defection law.
The move came after Chief Minister Edapaddi Palanisami met speaker P Dhanapal and discussed the issue with him.
Already angry with moves afoot to ‘oust Sasikala’ as the party General Secretary, the cornered Dinakaran group MLAs threatened to move the court if they were disqualified. “It will be foolish of the government if such a decision is taken,” said P Vetrivel, who is speaking on behalf of TTV Dinakaran who is indisposed.
The sacked deputy general secretary carried on his fight relentlessly by “firing another 11 office bearers” even though his own locus standi has been questioned. “Who is Dinakaran to sack us,” said a state minister who was stripped off party post by Dinakaran.
Slowly but surely, the MLAs are beginning to see weight in the argument of EPS, who had called for unity among AIADMK to ensure the longevity of the Amma government and fulfilling her dreams. “The people will not forgive us if we fail Amma, so we all must unite,” said Thopu Venkatachalam, appealing to all the MLAs to strengthen the hands of EPS. Incidentally this must have come as a rude shock to Dinakaran as he was among those he counted in his camp.
But another MLA Rathnasabhapati declared support to Dinakaran taking their tally to 20 plus.
Dinakaran camp dared the speaker or the ruling faction to take action against them. “We have already given a written submission to the governor saying that we don’t have confidence in EPS.” So what can they do, all this talk of disqualification is only to scare us, he said.
Asked till when will the MLAs stay in resort, Vetrivel said till the governor takes a decision on the memorandum we submitted to him.
Thursday, the chief minister met all the key ministers and party aides on how to stave off challenge from Dinakaran camp. Incidentally, the chief minister had a surprise visitor in senior BJP leader H Raja, who described it as a courtesy call. “I came to congratulate, EPS and OPS on the merger,” Raja told media persons.
“The 19 MLAs would stand to lose their membership if they acted against party decisions,” he said clarifying that he was speaking as a lawyer than as a politician.