Opposition meets TN Governor, seeks early trust vote

S Murari

The DMK-led opposition today met Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and asked him to direct Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami to prove his government’s majority in the Assembly following withdrawal of support by 19 AIADMK legislators loyal to rebel leader T T V Dinakaran.

The delegation, led by deputy leader of the DMK legislature party Durai Murugan, handed over a letter from Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin to the Governor saying that if the minority government was allowed to continue, it would lead not only to horse-trading but also affect governance .

Talking to reporters outside the Raj Bhavan, Durai Murugan said the Governor had told them that he had been monitoring the situation and he would take appropriate steps in accordance with the Constitution.

Durai Murugan also told the Governor that when he invited the Edappadi Palanisami to form the government last February and directed him to seek a trust vote within15 days, 122 MLAs were supporting him and nine dissidents under former Chief Minister O Pannerselvam were against.

Now the Government had only 113 MLAs on its side after the pullout by 19 pro-Dinakaran members. He explained that in the 234 Assembly, late Chief Minister J Jayalalitha’s seat remains vacant. The opposition has 98--. the DMK 89, the Congress eight and the Indian Union Muslim League one.

After the 19 rebels gave individual letters to the Governor, the strength of the Dinakaran had increased to 22. With 120 against, the Government’s present strength was only 113—four short of the half way mark.

Such being the case, the Governor, who gave only 15 days time to EPS in February to seek a confidence vote, should likewise ask him now to prove his majority at the earliest, Durai Murugan said.He said the Governor had assured them of early action.

The Governor, who flew in from Mumbai to swear in Edappadi and Panneselvam as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister respectively in the post-merger Cabinet expansion, flew back a day later, after receiving letters from dissidents. He returned on Saturday ahead of Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu’s visit to Chennai on Monday.