Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao today referred the DMK’s plea of action into alleged horse-trading involving AIADMK MLAs and a CD to Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal for “appropriate action”. The DMK memorandum and the CD were also referred to Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, a Raj Bhavan statement said. The governor’s action comes two days after the DMK-led opposition knocked on the doors of Raj Bhavan with a plea for a fresh vote of confidence, besides a probe by the CBI and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) or the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to “unearth the money trail and offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act”. The opposition parties had also urged the governor to dismiss the state government. The development comes against the backdrop of the speaker today ruling that the CD submitted by the DMK, alleging horse-trading involving certain AIADMK MLAs, only contained footage aired by a TV channel and thus, could not be regarded as evidence.
The issue could not be allowed to be raised in the House on the basis of media reportage — whether print or audio- visual — the speaker said, adding that the CD submitted by DMK MLA K Pichandi only contained footage aired by a television channel. The Raj Bhavan statement said DMK working president and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly M K Stalin had led a delegation to Rao on Saturday. The opposition, also comprising the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), both DMK allies, had submitted the memorandum and the CD to the governor “over the revelations” made by AIADMK MLAs S S Saravanan and Kanakaraj, it added.
“As per the orders of the Governor of Tamil Nadu, a copy of the memorandum and the CD were referred to the Speaker, Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and the Chief Secretary for appropriate action,” it said. A recent “sting operation” carried out by a TV channel, had purportedly showed Saravanan making claims of horse- trading ahead of the crucial February 18 trust vote, which was won by Chief Minister K Palaniswami amid a split in his party, the AIADMK. Saravanan, has, however, denied that it was his voice in the footage, though he has admitted that he was being seen in it. Raj Bhavan said today Stalin had sought the governor’s “intervention”, besides seeking a fresh vote of confidence. It recalled his demands for a CBI or ED probe to unearth the corruption and the money trail respectively.
In the memorandum, Raj Bhavan said, Stalin had mentioned about his moving the Madras High Court challenging the validity of the February 18 trust vote and seeking a fresh floor test. In the “latest development”, Stalin has also filed a miscellaneous petition praying for a CBI investigation and a probe by the DRI into the “revelations” made in the sting operation, it said. “All these requests made by Stalin in the memorandum submitted to the governor are matters already pending before the High Court of Madras,” the release added.
The first three days of the ongoing session of the Assembly saw the DMK make a bid in vain to take up the issue of “horse-trading” involving AIADMK MLAs for a debate. On June 14, the DMK members were evicted en masse over the issue while they staged walkouts on the next two days.