Tamil Nadu: DMK urges governor to 'nullify' trust vote; to stage fast on February 22

DMK members alleged trust vote was adopted by contravening the rules of the Tamil Nadu Assembly; they also announced state-wide hunger strike demanding its nullification

Opposition DMK stages a protest led by working president M K Stalin (Centre, sitting) on Saturday. Pic/PTI
Opposition DMK stages a protest led by working president M K Stalin (Centre, sitting) on Saturday. Pic/PTI

Chennai: The DMK yesterday appealed to Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to "nullify" the vote of confidence won by Sasikala loyalist E K Palaniswami, alleging it was adopted by contravening the rules of the state Assembly.

DMK, whose MLAs were en masse evicted from the state Assembly before the voting on the confidence motion on Saturday, also announced a state-wide hunger strike on February 22, protesting what it called was "murder of democracy".

In a representation submitted to Rao, MK Stalin, also the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, urged him to "nullify the entire proceedings" to "protect the spirit of democracy and the Constitution".

DMK Rajya Sabha members R S Bharathi, T K S Elangovan, and Tiruchi N Siva submitted the representation.

'Forcibly evicted'
Recalling his demand for secret voting on the motion of confidence moved by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Speaker P Dhanapal's rejection of it, he said, "Finding no other way to register our protest, we resorted to peaceful dharna inside the House."

He, however, said, "The Speaker ordered expulsion of all the members of the DMK without following the procedure." "Assembly guards forcibly evicted us and many of us sustained injuries. Other opposition parties staged a walkout strongly protesting the action of Speaker," he said.

'Mockery of democracy'
The DMK leader claimed that the Speaker "ignored the rule that if the House is adjourned after moving a motion, it lapses". He said it was "a mockery of democracy and a severe blow to the Constitution".

He claimed that in 1988 "when voting on the Confidence Motion was held by the Speaker with only two factions of the ruling party present in the House (it was) later declared as invalid and void by the then Governor".

It appealed to the Governor to weigh the proceedings in the state Assembly, focusing on the Speaker's declaration that the Confidence Motion moved by Palaniswami was adopted in absence of members of all the opposition parties.

It urged him to invoke his constitutional powers to nullify the proceedings to protect the spirit of democracy and Constitution.

122-11
The margin by which EK Palaniswami won the trust vote

FIR filed against MK Stalin

An FIR has been filed against DMK working president M K Stalin, his party MLAs, MPs and cadres for holding a protest at Marina beach against the alleged attack on him and his MLAs during the trust vote in the Assembly. Police said it has been filed for unlawful assembly and violation of public order.

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