Pressing ahead with its campaign against the K. Palaniswami government, the DMK-led Opposition on Sunday met Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao and demanded immediate convening of the Assembly and to direct the Chief Minister to prove his majority. The Opposition parties also told the Governor that if he did not convene the Assembly within a week, they would approach courts and the “people’s court”, Leader of the Opposition and DMK Working President M.K. Stalin told the media after the meeting. He said the AIADMK government headed by Palaniswami has lost majority in the Assembly with 119 MLAs ranged against him and only 116 supporting in a House of 233.
The Opposition has, in all, 98 MLAs (DMK 89, its allies Congress eight and Muslim League one) while those owing allegiance to T.T.V. Dinakaran faction of AIADMK are 21. Stalin recalled that the Opposition has already demanded a floor test for the government and Dinakaran had also met the Governor earlier this week in the company of three more MLAs and conveyed to him that the Chief Minister had lost the confidence of MLAs loyal to him. He had a fortnight ago ferried 19 of his loyalist MLAs to the Governor with the message that they wanted removal of the Chief Minister. One of the 19 MLAs — S.T.K. Jakkaiyan — had switched sides to the Chief Minister’s camp.
An opposition delegation, led by DMK Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Duraimurugan had met the Governor a fortnight ago and conveyed to him their demand for convening the Assembly immediately for a floor test. The DMK leader said it was established by the Supreme Court judgement in the S.R. Bommai and Arunachal Pradesh cases that the Assembly was the place where a majority has to be proved and it was the Governor’s duty to convene the House for the purpose. Asked what was the Governor’s response, Stalin said Rao told the delegation that he would do his duty. “I still hope that he will perform his duty and convene the House,” he added. Stalin said if the Governor does not convene the Assembly session within a week, then they were left with no option but to approach the “courts and people’s courts”.