TN speaker ejects ex-mlas from residences
CHENNAI: Eighteen disqualiied members of the Tamil Nadu state assembly have been served notices by the state government to vacate their residences. The 18, who were originally from the ruling Anna DMK but had revolted against Chief Minister Edappady Palniswami and stayed with dissident leader TTV Dhinakaran, were disqualiied by the Speaker under the anti-defection law. The High Court last week upheld the Speaker’s ruling.
Speaker P. Dhanapal has now directed them to vacate the MLAS’ residential quarters allotted to them and asked oficials to lock and seal them.
Assembly Secretary K. Srinivasan wrote to them that since they are disqualiied, they were no longer entitled to any of the facilities provided to them, including residential quarters.
He also asked the dissident MLAS to settle the pending rental dues immediately.
The MLAS haven’t decided whether to go on appeal to the Supreme Court.
Tamil Nadu’s main parties are, however, gearing up for by-elections to 20 state assembly constituencies, including two where incumbent MLAS passed away. Tiruvarur and Thiruparankundram by-polls are due following the recent death of sitting MLAS - DMK chief M. Karunanidhi and AK Bose of the ADMK.
The ADMK is making a bid to woo back into its fold the ex-mlas who are certain to contest the by-elections. Besides, the ADMK has formed several committees to organise campaign in these seats as also in two other seats.
Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam will lead the ADMK drive for the by-elections.
The DMK is holding discussions led by party president MK Stalin, who leads the irst major election battle for the party after the death of patriarch Karunanidhi.
By-polls have not been announced for any of the segments so far.
The loyalists of AMMK leader TTV Dhinarakan, which include the 18 MLAS, have expressed conidence that they will retain all seats. While the DMK is seen favoured to win most seats, the threat to Palaniswami comes from Dhinakaran loyalists also. The bypolls are do-or-die battles for Palaniswami.
Setting the trend for his party’s campaign, DMK chief Stalin late Monday alleged that Palaniswami was leading a government of “Corruption, Commission and Collection” and was scared of facing the civic polls and assembly by-polls.