DMK boycotts Tamil Nadu governor's address in assembly

Erika Holt
January 9, 2018

Both the DMK and TTV Dhinakaran have been demanding a floor test ever since the disqualified MLAs met the then Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao in September previous year, and told him that they had lost confidence in Chief Minister Palaniswami.

DMK working president Mk Stalin speaking to media. DMK allies - Congress and Indian Union Muslim League - followed the suit. Instead of asking the government to prove its majority, the Governor has agreed to address the assembly. "This is against democracy", he told reporters. A political party would ideally need 117 MLAs in the Tamil Nadu assembly to remain in power.

Seventeen of the 18 MLAs said they would move court against the Speaker's decision to disqualify them from the Assembly.

These MLAs had met the then governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and said they had lost confidence in the Chief Minister, a day after the formal merger of the two factions led by Palaniswami and then rebel leader and now Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on August 21.

The Assembly began with a discussion over the ongoing transport strike across the state.

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Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for visiting cyclone-hit Kanyakumari, he said the Centre should ask its team which visited Tamil Nadu to assess storm damages to expeditiously submit its report. "This government will fall soon", he said.

No sooner had Purohit begun his speech with a vanakkam (greetings) that members of the opposition began shouting slogans. He also announced that late chief minister J Jayalalithaa's house - the Veda Nilayam - would be converted into a memorial in her honour.

Even as he began his speech, Leader of the Opposition MK Stalin was on his feet trying to raise some issues.

The governor paused for a moment and told Mr Stalin in Tamil to "please ukkarunga" (please take your seat).

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