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DMK urges Guv to 'nullify' trust vote; To stage fast on Feb 22


Chennai, Feb 19: DMK on Sunday 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.

Vidyasagar Rao

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, 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.

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. 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 Palanisami 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. Stalin in a statement said his party would stage the hunger strike from 9 AM to 5 PM and condemned the adoption of trust vote after eviction of his party members.

Alleging that the Motion of Confidence was adopted contravening the House rules, he called it a "murder of democracy". Palaniswami won the trust vote by a 122-11 margin after the eviction of DMK members and and walkout by its allies, amid stormy scenes during which mikes were uprooted, chairs toppled and sheets of papers torn and hurled around. Immediately after the eviction of DMK, Stalin had met the Governor and urged him to postpone the trust vote.


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