Tamil Nadu Chief Whip Recommends Action Against 3 More AIADMK MLAs for ‘Anti-party Activities’
Speaker P Dhanapal held a meeting with the law minister CV Shanmugam and the AIADMK chief whip to discuss the matter of issuing notices to the rebel MLAs, who have pledged their support to TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK.
File photos of AIADMK chiefs O Panneerselvam (left) and EK Palaniswami.
Chennai: With four more Assembly constituencies set to see by-elections on May 19, Tamil Nadu chief whip S Rajendran has submitted recommendations to Speaker P Dhanapal against three AIADMK MLAs for ‘anti-party activities’.
Dhanapal met with Law Minister C V Shanmugam and Rajendran to discuss the matter of issuing notices to the rebel MLAs, who have pledged their support to TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).
Sources said it was discussed in the meeting if sending notices would be in violation of the Model Code of Conduct. The speaker is said to given his consent to take action against four legislators, including independent candidate Thamimun Ansari, who too had contested under the party symbol.
MLAs E Rathinasabapathy, VT Kalaiselvan and A Prabhu have expressed their support to AMMK’s general secretary Dhinakaran.
If the notice is issued to the three MLAs, they would have to respond within 15 days and then it would left to the prerogative of the speaker to take a call based on the replies filed by them.
This will be the second time in two years that Dhanapal was issuing notices to the MLAs to decide whether the disqualification law should be invoked against them.
Following disqualification of 18 MLAs, the Election Commission had announced to hold the bypolls in the constituencies along with the Lok Sabha election on April 18. Another four seats would see by-elections on April 19.
Results of all the bypolls will be announced on May 23. This would make it the first political test for the ruling AIADMK for whom winning a significant number of seats is a question of the government’s survival in the state.
The party has been surviving in power on a thin majority and the outcome of the by-elections could make or break this government.
This would also reveal whether voters have accepted the leadership of Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam as the true ‘heirs’ of former CM J Jayalalithaa.
By-elections to the 22 Assembly segments had been delayed time and again, because of the disqualification of so many MLAs by the speaker for rebelling against the CM and being dragged in courts.
Even when the polls were notified in March, the Election Commission only notified by-elections to 18 Assembly seats and it was the DMK's persistent legal battle that forced the poll panel to notify bypolls to four more seats, including one seat that fell vacant recently after an MLA's death.
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