DMK working president MK Stalin will meet Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in Delhi on Friday, a day after had he requested President Pranab Mukherjee to annul the Vote of Confidence in Tamil Nadu Assembly and direct the Governor to order for a fresh floor test through secret ballot. Speaking to reporters after meeting the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, the Leader of Opposition Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly said unprecedented violence took place in the TN Assembly on Saturday, the day trust vote was held. “After throwing all 89 DMK MLAs out, a Confidence Vote was held. We have apprised the President about it and the way in which Assembly Speaker conducted the proceedings in favour of the ruling party,” said Stalin. He added,”We have asked the President to nullify the Confidence Vote and direct the Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to hold a fresh floor test through secret ballot. Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand have set an example in holding secret ballots.”
Commenting on unruly behaviour of his MLAs in the Assembly, Stalin said DMK “has never” encouraged violence.
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“It is the DMK MLAs who have been attacked in the incident,” he said.
Stalin’s meeting with the President comes days after he had urged Tamil Nadu Governor Rao to “nullify” the confidence vote, which was won by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami after forcible en-masse eviction of DMK legislators from the state Assembly on February 18.
He also had requested Speaker P Dhanapal to provide him with the unedited footage of the February 18 trust vote proceedings in the Tamil Nadu Assembly in order to enable him to produce the same in front of the High Court, as demanded by the latter.
The High Court had directed the opposition DMK to produce video clippings or any other recordings to substantiate the party’s claim that the trust vote held that day was by “contravening” the rules of Assembly.
In his letter to the Speaker, the Leader of Opposition referred to DMK’s February 20 petition filed in the High Court, seeking to declare the confidence vote “null and void” as it was conducted by “contravening the rules of the Assembly.”
Stating that the next hearing would be on February 27, the DMK working president requested the Speaker that immediate action be taken to provide him the footage.
Palaniswami had won the trust vote 122-11 in the 234 member Assembly, aided by the eviction of main opposition DMK and the walkout by its allies, amid stormy scenes during which mikes were uprooted, chairs toppled and sheets of papers torn.
The division vote was taken up after two adjournments following tempestuous scenes during which the opposition MLAs insisted on a secret vote, which was rejected by the Speaker.