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Tamil Nadu crisis: ‘We are in majority’, claims unified AIADMK as 111 MLAs attend meet convened by EPS

Edited by: India TV Politics Desk Chennai 05 Sep 2017, 19:43:10 IST
India TV Politics Desk

Amid the ongoing political crisis and demand for a floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly by the Opposition parties, 111 MLAs of the ruling AIADMK attended a legislator’s meet convened by Chief Minister E Palaniswami.

State Fisheries Minister and senior AIADMK leader D Jayakumar told reporters here that as many as 111 MLAs reposed their faith in the chief minister at the meeting. 

The development is being considered as a boost to Palaniswami, whose earlier meeting on August 28 reportedly witnessed a much less attendance with some claiming that only 75 MLAs were present in it. 

Jayakumar said the MLAs had "wholeheartedly extended their full cooperation" to the chief minister and an unanimous resolution was adopted reposing faith in his leadership. 

He also claimed that nine MLAs of the Dhinakaran camp had contacted Palaniswami over phone and extended their support to him. 

Also, three MLAs who are allies of the ruling party had promised their support to Palaniswami, he added.

The Peravurani MLA had intimated that he would not be able to attend the meet as he was indisposed, Jayakumar said. 

He alleged that some legislators had been "illegally confined against their wishes" (at Puducherry) and asserted that the meet signalled the dashing of hopes of those who wanted to "thrust" an election on the people.  

Yesterday, the TTV Dhinakaran faction of the AIADMK rejected the invite to participate in the meet, asserting that there is no change in its stand that the CM should be removed. 

The demand for Palaniswani’s resignation  was made by the 19 MLAs who shifted their loyalty to the Dhinakaran camp, a day after the AIADMk factions led by Palaswami and Panneerselvam merged. The strength of the camp has gone up to 21 with two more MLAs joining it. The MLAs are staying in neighbouring Puducherry.

Palaniswami convened the meeting today, exactly a week ahead of the September 12 general council and executive meets of the party, which could take a call on the future of jailed party chief V K Sasikala and Dhinakaran in AIADMK.

Palaniswami and Dhinakaran are involved in a tussle for power even as opposition parties including DMK have been demanding that the governor direct a floor test for the state government in the assembly to prove its strength.

The chief minister's camp had recently announced that Dhinakaran had been removed from the party on August 10 itself and hence changes being made by him in party posts were invalid.

Meanwhile, the Dhinakaran camp got a shot in the arm with two Lok Sabha MPs today extending support to the sidelined leader.

DMK claims only 109 MLAs attended meet, seeks floor test

DMK Working President M K Stalin today claimed that only 109 AIADMK MLAs reportedly took part in a meet chaired by Chief Minister K Palaniswai and renewed his party's demand for a floor test in the assembly to prove the majority of the government. 

"News is coming that only 109 MLAs took part in the meet," Stalin said adding the turn out at the meet strengthened his party's view that delaying a floor test would lead to horse-trading. 

Speaking to reporters at DMK headquarters here, he said the Governor should convene the Assembly and direct Palaniswami to prove his majority in the floor of the House. If this was not done, it will lead to "horse-trading at a larger level." 

"If the Governor does not order a floor test even now (when only 109 MLAs reportedly took part in the meet chaired by Chief Minister Palaniswami), we will initiate next course of action after deliberations," he said.