After a dramatic day of ruckus and violent protests in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, AIADMK’s Palaniswami won the floor test with 122 MLAs voting in his favour. Only 11 party MLAs from the Panneerselvam camp voted against him.
The voting took place when the Assembly reconvened at 3 pm in the absence of an Opposition. By then, DMK MLAs had been evicted by marshals. DMK’s allies Congress along with the lone IUML MLA staged a walkout ahead of the trust vote.
The Assembly was adjourned twice because of the protests that turned violent. The first time was when Speaker P Dhanapal had to be escorted out of the House as the protesting members had surrounded him.
Trouble began when the Opposition, primarily the DMK, created ruckus in the House demanding a secret ballot to the trust vote. DMK also demanded that the floor test should be deferred so as to give time to the MLAs to go to their respective constituencies and get people’s opinions.
Unruly scenes erupted when their demand was rejected by the Speaker. Soon the protests turned violent and the Speaker ordered the eviction of DMK members.
Marshals then stormed into the House and evicted the protesting DMK members.
Finally when the Assembly reconvened at 3 pm, the Speaker allowed Panneerselvam, Congress Legislature Party Leader K R Ramasamy and IUML member Abubacker to make some brief remarks before going ahead with the voting.
Congress MLAs along with the lone IUML MLA staged a walkout ahead of the vote. The quorum bell was sounded and all the entry points to the House were closed, and voting was taken up in division in every block.
After the voting, the Speaker announced that 122 MLAs voted in favour of Palaniswami Ministry, and 11 against it. The win received a loud applause from the ruling benches.
Palaniswami was sworn in as Chief Minister just two days ago, and was given 15 days by the Governor to prove his majority. He chose to lose no time, given the volatility within the AIADMK.
Prior to his swearing-in, the ruling party went through a bitter battle between the jailed chief Sasikala and former CM Panneerselvam.
Panneerselvam had revolted against party chief Sasikala alleging that he was forced to resign from the chief minister’s post. In the bitter power battle that followed, Panneerselvam only managed to lure 11 party MLAs from a total of 133, clearly losing the battle against party chief Sasikala and her appointee E Palaniswami.