Published On: Fri, Feb 17th, 2017

Panneerselvam camp demands secret ballot to decide on confidence motion

Chennai: Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s camp has demanded secret ballot on Saturday when the motion of confidence is moved in the assembly, leaders said.

A small group of AIADMK leaders met the Speaker in the Secretariat and demanded secret ballot on Saturday

After holding hectic discussions at Panneerselvam’s residence on Friday morning, a small group of AIADMK leaders met the Speaker in the Secretariat and demanded secret ballot on Saturday.

Speaking to reporters, S Semmalai, part of the Panneerselvam camp, said they have urged the Speaker for a secret ballot to decide on the motion of confidence.

However, a former MP of AIADMK is of the view that the legislators supporting Panneerselvam should vote against the confidence motion as a logical progression in their revolt.

“Panneerselvam and the legislators supporting him should openly vote against the motion of confidence and to build on the credibility in the people’s mind space,” KC Palaniswamy said on Friday.

On Thursday, Edappadi K Palaniswami, of the Saskala camp, was sworn in as Chief Minister and 30 ministers also took oath.

The assembly has been convened on Saturday where Palaniswami with 125 legislators in his camp will seek the confidence of the house for his government.

Ranged on the opposite side are the Panneerselvam camp with 10 legislators, DMK with 89 members, Congress – eight, Indian Union Muslim League with one, and one seat is vacant.

Sasikala had recently dismissed Panneerselvam and K Pandiarajan from the primary membership of the party and both are outside the purview of the anti-defection law.

If there is large number of cross voting — by those supporting Chief Minister Palaniswami voting against him in the assembly – then the dynamics would change, an AIADMK leader said.

On Thursday, MPs belonging to the Panneerselvam camp had met Election Commission officials and petitioned to disqualify Sasikala’s appointment as General Secretary.

The MPs should have pursued the complaints lodged with the Election Commission long back on the subject than submitting a new one, said Palaniswamy.

One view is that the government would survive the confidence motion, though DMK General Secretary K Anbazhagan has predicted to the contrary.

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