Dissident MLAs seek 15 days more to appear before Speaker

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Chennai: The dissident AIADMK MLAs who had been served notice by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal on a plea that they be disqualified, today sought 15 more days for their individual appearance.

The legislators owing allegiance to AIADMK (Amma) Deputy General Secretary T T V Dhinakaran said that they had already submitted a reply to the August 24 notice by the Speaker on a plea from Chief Government Whip S Rajendran seeking their disqualification.

Dhinakaran loyalists Thangatamilselvan and P Vetrivel met officials at the Speaker’s office and presented a request in this regard.

Thangatamilselvan later told reporters that the MLAs received another communication recently calling for their individual appearance on September 7 over the issue.

“We need some clarification. So we informed we can’t come on September 7 and told them we need 15 days time,” he said.

Seeking to crack down on the 19 pro-Dhinakaran AIADMK MLAs, Rajendran had sought their disqualification for alleged anti-party activities and Dhanapal had issued notice to the MLAs that day itself.

The MLAs had earlier revolted against Chief Minister K Palaniswami, informing Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao that they had lost confidence in him and that they wanted him to be removed from the post.

Palaniswami and Dhinakaran are involved in a tussle for power even as opposition parties, including DMK, have been demanding that the Governor direct a floor test for the state government in the assembly to prove its strength.

Meanwhile, Thangatamilselvan alleged that there was “wanton blackout” of party-backed Jaya TV in many districts.

His side took up the matter with Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, he added.

Following differences between Palaniswami and Dhinakaran, Jaya TV and the party’s vernacular daily, “Namathu Dr.MGR,” have turned critical of the government and have openly sided with the AIADMK deputy chief.

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