Vilavancode Congress MLA joins BJP, may be disqualified

It is only the second time in TN that the saffron party has managed to lure a sitting MLA.
Vilavancode Congress MLA S Vijayadharani
Vilavancode Congress MLA S VijayadharaniLinkedIn

CHENNAI : Vilavancode Congress MLA S Vijayadharani on Saturday officially joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the party’s national headquarters in New Delhi bringing to end nearly two weeks of speculation.

The event took place in the presence of union minister L Murugan, BJP national secretary Arvind Menon, and state incharge Sudhakar Reddy.

The BJP formally announced her joining, accompanied by a photo, and Vijayadharani later shared her resignation letter sent to AICC president Mallikarjun Kharge.

In her letter, Vijayadharani said she is quitting the party and relinquishing all her posts due to personal reasons. Vijayadharani is the first sitting Congress MLA from TN to switch allegiance to the BJP. Later in the day, TNCC president K Selvaperunthagai, in a press statement, said since Vijayadharani has switched her loyalty to another party, a letter has been sent to the Tamil Nadu Assembly speaker to disqualify her from MLA post based on anti-defection law.

Speaking about the possible impact of her exit, TNCC general secretary KG Rameshkumar said, “Congress cadres are distributing sweets to people and the general public is also congratulating us. Because of her defection, the party will get strengthened at the grassroots level.” 

Vijayadharani will know Cong’s strength on day of vote counting: TNCC gen secy

TNCC general secretary KG Rameshkumar asked Vijayadharani to contest from Vilavancode seat in the upcoming assembly byelection on BJP ticket. “She will know the strength of Congress on the vote counting day,” he said.

Though the BJP has managed to lure sitting MLAs and MPs from various political parties across the country, it is only the second time in TN that the saffron party has managed to lure a sitting MLA.

On August 4, 2020, Thousand Lights DMK MLA Ku Ka Selvam joined the BJP, following his discontentment with the party leadership. Vijayadharani is the first sitting MLA of TN Congress to join BJP.

Cadres burned her effigy at Marthandam in Kanniyakumari. Congress Assembly floor leader and Killiyoor MLA S Rajesh Kumar said the party gave Vijayadharani her identity but she had betrayed the party. “INDIA bloc would win all seats in TN and Puducherry and Rahul Gandhi would become the PM,” he said.

To be disqualified

As per TN Legislative Assembly Disqualification on Ground of Defection Rules, 1986, a member of a House belonging to any party shall be disqualified from being a member of the House if he/she voluntarily gives up his the party membership

(With inputs from Kanniyakumari)

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