June 14, 2017
DMK working president calls for immediate dissolution of the house after serious charges of bribes for trust vote came out in a media sting operation. He also demanded a CBI probe into the whole affair.
Chennai: Political situation in Tamil Nadu is heating up after the principal opposition party cornered the EPS government on the ‘MLAs for sale’ issue demanding an immediate discussion on the alleged horse trading before the crucial February 18 trust vote in the assembly.
DMK working president and leader of opposition, MK Stalin, raised the issue seeking a discussion, which was rejected outright by speaker P Dhanpal who said since the matter was sub-judice he will not allow it. He then asked for proof from the DMK MLAs of the allegations they were making on the basis of media reports of MLAs seeking and getting money for voting in a particular manner during the trust vote.
With the opposition members raising slogans and creating a ruckus, the speaker ordered expulsion of Stalin. He was soon ejected from the house by Marshals, but not before the DMK MLAs carried out a mock auction inside the assembly. “The going price of an MLA was Rs 10 crore,” they shouted slogans in unison, attracting the ire of the speaker, who rejected all demands for discussion on the matter.
But once ejected from the house, Stalin took the issue straight to the people by plonking himself on the main road opposite the St George Fort, the seat of power in Tamil Nadu even as his party MLAs also trooped out to join him. In ejecting him from the house, the ruling AIADMK faction only played into the hands of Stalin, who took the issue to the people.
Recalling the events since the February 18 trust vote, Stalin said there was doubt over the trust vote itself and it was high time that the governor dissolved the house immediately. And more important, there must be a CBI inquiry into the allegation of use of money to purchase votes during trust vote, Stalin said adding “it is now clear that there was horse trading during the trust vote.”
The DMK also moved the Madras High Court seeking a probe into the alleged bribing of AIADMK MLAs during the floor test. He recalled how the MLAs were held in confinement in Kuvathur sea-side resort outside Chennai under lock and key and how they were brought in buses to the assembly and immediately taken away to the ‘jail’ again. The DMK pounced on the issue brought out by a media sting operation which had video clips showing AIADMK men how they were given money to support chief minister E Palanisami during the trust vote.
As soon as the assembly convened on Wednesday, the DMK MLAs began shouting slogans. Soon Stalin was evicted from the house. After DMK MLAs trooped out, the Congress and IUML representatives too staged a walk out and joined the dharna.
“The government must resign immediately as it has lost all moral and legal right to continue in office,” he said, criticizing speaker’s action of not allowing a discussion on a “serious issue raised by the opposition.”