The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Tuesday evening (April 30), submitted a notice to the Assembly secretary K Srinivasan, demanding introducion of a no-confidence motion against the Tamil Nadu Assembly speaker P Dhanapal. The move came after the ruling party All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) issued notices to three sitting MLAs – E Rathinasabapathy, VT Kalaiselvan and A Prabhu – for alleged links with the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) chief TTV Dhinakaran.
The AIADMK party chief whip S Rajendran on April 26, submitted a recommendation to the Assembly speaker seeking action against those three MLAs for ‘anti-party activities’. It is being said that the trio had extended support to Dhinakaran in recent months.
The speaker issued notices to the three MLAs on Tuesday. The MLAs were given a week’s time to respond. DMK threatened to pursue a no-confidence motion if the speaker sends a notice. Ensuing the notices to the MLAs, the DMK has resorted to moving a no-confidence motion.
The present strength of AIADMK in the assembly is 113 (excluding the speaker). To stay in power, AIADMK needs at least 4 more MLAs.
The DMK, with its allies, has a strength of 98 MLAs. In order to capture power, it needs to win 20 of the 22 seats.
Bypolls to 18 seats were held on April 18 while that for four others is scheduled for May 19. Counting will take place on May 23.
Incidentally, two MLAs of the AIADMK-led alliance, designated as its members in the Assembly records-since they contested on its symbol, have shown signs of stress with the ruling party. Legislator S Karunaas, leader of the Mukkulathor Puli Padai, has been anti-government for some time, while Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi MLA M Thamimun Ansari, a strident critic of the BJP, backed the DMK-led alliance in the Lok Sabha polls after the AIADMK struck a poll pact with the saffron party. There is a possibility that these four MLAs (three who have been issued notices and Ansari) can quit the party anytime. If that happens, the AIADMK’s strength will come down to 109. Then they would need to win 9 seats in the on-going bypolls to remain in power.