Today is the D-day for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi Palanisami and we witnessed how turbulent the session was with disruptions from DMK and other rebel MLAS.
Today is the D-day for Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi Palanisami and we witnessed how turbulent the session was with disruptions from DMK and other rebel MLAS. Right from the start, it was not a cakewalk with the house being adjourned twice in the day. It was becoming difficult to get the numbers during as the DMK and Congress decided to vote against the government at the very start. Following today’s floor test, it is reported that Palaniswamy is likely to visit Sasikala in Bengaluru today. Till yesterday noon, Palanisami had maintained that he has the support of 124 MLAs but he received an unexpected jolt when Natrajan, an MLA from
Mylapore, declared that he would vote against the chief minister’s vote of confidence. Natrajan called it ”a conscience vote,” not a confidence vote. It didn’t make things any easier that the OPS camp was pitching strongly for a secret ballot for trust vote and that TV channels had reported last evening that DMK and IUML are likely to vote against Palanisami during the floor test.
Last evening, O Panneerselvam reportedly made an emotional appeal to AIADMK MLAs to think wisely before they cast their votes. He said, “Till her last, Amma had worked to ensure that family rule does not enter Tamil Nadu politics. Please vote wisely and safeguard Amma’s interests.” It was clearly a jibe at Sasikala’s camp.
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There were also hushed speculations about the possibility of a large number of MLAs cross-voting against Palanisami in the state assembly.
Heading a 31-member Cabinet, Edappadi Palanisami had sworn in on Thursday as Tamil Nadu’s 29th Chief Minister. Following his swearing-in ceremony, 31 ministers took the collective oath. The practice of collective oath taking by Ministers was first begun in the state by Jayalalithaa in May 2015 and later continued by O Panneerselvam on December 2016.
Following Palanisami’s swearing-in ceremony, DMK’s MK Stalin reportedly gave some ”good advice” to the newly sworn in Chief Minister saying, “Palanisamy must work for the people and not run the government according to the whims and fancies of the power-centre at Bengaluru.”
On Thursday evening, O Panneerselvam had told reporters that the AIADMK is now under the control of those were thrown out by Jayalalithaa and that this government would be overthrown.
This floor test is the first of its kind to happen in the Tamil Nadu state assembly in the last 30 years. The last time a floor test had been taken in the state was when a ”succession war” took place within the AIADMK.
The floor test took place when Janaki, the widow of M.G. Ramachandran succeeded him, and a bitter tussle for power emerged when Jayalalithaa staked her claim to carry his political legacy forward. Interesting as the events played out back then, MGR’s widow won the confidence vote but her government was dismissed two days later by the Centre. Will the state of Tamil Nadu see history repeat itself after three decades? Hopefully, not this time!