With the effective number of the AIADMK MLAs in the House reduced to 111, excluding Speaker P Dhanapal, three alliance partners and two siding with Dinakaran, the 7 legislators who did not turn up for the meeting accounted for their absence citing health reasons and travel out of town, etc.
Following the disqualification of 18 dissident MLAs that sought to change CM, the composition of the House had been reduced to 216, and the ruling party would require a simple working majority of 109 to adopt any resolution including the motion to thank Governor’s customary New Year address in the Assembly that is scheduled for January 8.
Even as the attendance of legislators in AIADMK Legislature Party (LP) meet dipped below a working majority mark, the AIADMK top brass suggested the legislators to behave in the House while leaving posers from the opposition and newly elected RK Nagar legislator TTV Dinakaran to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his cabinet colleagues, besides adhering to the whip orders issued.
Missing seven: Cooperatives Minister Sellur K Raju, Information and Publicity Minister Kadambur Raju, Khadi and Village Industries Board Minister G Baskaran, legislators A Prabhu (Kallakurichi), S Pavunraj (Poompuhar), VP Sivasubramani (Modakkurichi) and VCArukutty (Kavundampalayam)were missing.
While Sellur K Raju, Prabhu, and Pavunraj had informed the party high-command of embarking on a Sabarimala pilgrimage, Sivasubramani and Arukutty had cited health reasons. Ministers Raju and Baskaran were busy attending a state festivity of Velu Nachiyar’s birth anniversary in Sivaganga.
Need not warm up to Dinakaran
Deputy CM and AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam advised the legislators not to engage with Dinakaran in any manner inside the House. “If Dinakaran props up issues against the government, the same will be countered with by either the CM or the respective cabinet minister who has ambit over the issue concerned,” he said.
The deputy CM stressed on the need for party legislators to steer clear from Dinakaran in the House proceedings, and sought compliance to obey the whip orders issued by Chief Government Whip S Rajendran.