The Tamil Nadu Assembly was adjourned twice today during a special session convened to conduct a floor test as high drama and violence followed a confidence motion moved by Chief Minister E Palaniswamy to prove the majority of the government.
Earlier, the House was adjourned till 1 pm after a violent outburst by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MLAs who demanded a secret ballot and deferment of the floor-test. However, these requests were denied. They questioned the hurry for the vote when Governor Vidyasagar Rao had given 15-day time period to garner support. The Congress and AIADMK’s O Panneerselvam camp along with the DMK found themselves on the same side in these extraordinary turn of events in Tamil Nadu politics.
Although media was denied access to cover this crucial vote, images of the proceedings did emerge, showing broken chairs and table and damaged microphones. Speaker P Dhanapal, who had to leave the assembly, was heckled and a secretariat employee was injured. The speaker had suggested a division of votes instead.
Around 3,000 police have been deployed outside the assembly, which will resume again at 3 pm.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has issued a notice to V K Sasikala on a petition filed by Dr V Maitreyan challenging her nomination as AIADMK general secretary. Sasikala has been asked to reply by February 28.
In the 234-member Assembly — down to 231 without the late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, DMK head M Karunanidhi and speaker P Dhanapal — a majority of 116 is needed.
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