DMK to vote against new Tamil Nadu chief minister in trust vote

Sasikala is currently in jail after being convicted in the disproportionate assets case against her. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India Feb 17, 2017, 12.43 PM (IST)

Tamil Nadu's opposition party, the DMK, will vote against chief minister E Palaniswami's government in tomorrow's (February 17) trust vote, the party's working president MK Stalin said.

Edappadi K Palaniswami, a loyalist of AIADMK general secretary Sasikala, was sworn-in as chief minister on Thursday. He will seek a trust vote tomorrow in the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

"To express our opposition to the AIADMK government, we will vote against the Palaniswami government in the motion of confidence that will be taken up tomorrow," Stalin said.

He blamed the ruling AIADMK for its "failure" on several fronts, including the "deteriorating law and order situation."

The Tamil Nadu Congress said they would take decision based on the "advice" of the high command.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President Su Thirunavukkarasar said he expected the feedback of the top leadership "soon".

Palaniswami needs the support of 118 of the Assembly's 234 legislators or MLAs to win the trust vote.

He currently has the backing of 124 of the AIADMK's 134 legislators, 10 of whom back O Panneerselvam.

The DMK has a strength of 89, Congress eight, IUML one and one seat is vacant.

Palanisamy was appointed as the legislative head of the AIADMK by Sasikala after she was convicted in the disproportionate assets case by the top court on February 14.

Tamil Nadu governor C Vidyasagar Rao subsequently called upon him to form government in the state.

Sasikala was elected the legislative party leader by the AIADMK on February 5 to enable her become chief minister. In a dramatic twist, Panneerselvam, who was appointed chief minister after Jayalalithaa's death in December, revolted against Sasikala on February 7, alleging he was forced to step down to make way for her elevation as chief minister.

Sasikala removed O Panneerselvam from the party's primary membership in the wake of his revolt against her and on the day of the announcement of the verdict by the top court.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission today issued a notice to Sasikala on a petition filed by AIADMK leader V Maitreyan -- of the Panneerselvam camp -- challenging her nomination as general secretary of the party.

She has been asked to reply by February 28.

The Panneerselvam's camp today "removed" Sasikala and her two relatives from the party for "going against its principles and ideals".

In a statement, E Madusudanan, who was earlier removed as presidium chairman by Sasikala, said she had "violated" her promise to Jayalalithaa that she would not enter politics and that she had no inclination to be a part of the party or government.

Madusudanan also announced the "expulsion" of Sasikala's nephew and AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dinakaran and S Venkatesh, both relatives of Sasikala, from the party.

He said Jayalalithaa had expelled them from the party in 2011 for "betraying" her.

"VK Sasikala is being removed from the party's primary membership for going against the party principles and ideals, and having violated her promise to Amma (Jayalalithaa), besides facing criminal cases. She has brought disrepute to the party," he said in a statement.

"Their re-induction, done without any authority, is being cancelled," he said.The two were allowed to join AIADMK on Wednesday by Sasikala, after six years of expulsion by her predecessor Jayalalithaa.

Madusudanan, who had joined the Pannneerselvam camp last week, had been replaced with KA Sengottaiyan as the presidium chairman by Sasikala, a move rejected by the Panneerselvam camp.

He was also removed from the party's primary membership but insisted Sasikala had no authority to do so.

In a separate statement, Madusudanan announced the "expulsion" of chief minister Palaniswami, party's propaganda secretary and Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai, Rajya Sabha MP A Navaneethakrishnan and state ministers C Srinivasan, P Thangamani, C Ve Shanmugam, K Raju and R B Uthayakumar, among others.

The chief minister and 12 others were "expelled" for bringing "disrepute" to the party by going against its ideals and principles, he said.

(WION with inputs from PTI)