CHENNAI: DMK party whip in the Assembly R Sakkarapani has moved the Madras High Court for a direction to the Speaker to initiate disqualification proceedings against former chief minister and current Deputy CM O Panneerselvam and 10 other MLAs for having voted against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami during the confidence motion on February 18.
The Speaker had not even issued notice on his (Sakkarapani) petition for disqualification filed on March 20 against OPS and his 10 MLAs in accordance with the provisions of X Schedule of the Constitution and The TN Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Ground of Defection) Rules 1986 for defying the whip issued by chief government whip S Rajendran. The inaction on the part of the Speaker against the 11 MLAs was deliberate and mala fide, Sakkarapani contended.
Besides OPS, the other 10 MLAs - Aarukutty, Shanmuganathan, Manickam, Manoharan, K Pandiarajan, Manoranjitham, Saravanan, Semmalai, Chinnaraj and R Natraj - voted against the government on February 18. Arunkumar, representing Pollachi constituency, abstained from voting without the permission of the party, the petitioner added.
Under Para 2 (1) (b) of the X Schedule, if a member voted against the whip and such conduct was not condoned within 15 days, then the member should be disqualified on the ground of defection, the petitioner said.
The petitioner claimed that the chief minister, using the inaction of the Speaker, had made OPS Dy CM and K Pandirajan a minister. This is a clear act of corruption and quid pro quo for supporting a minority government, he added.A vacation court is likely to hear the petition on September 27.