Special Correspondent

MDMK says the two MPs violated the party whip to vote against the UPA government

Ganesan says he, as parliamentary party leader, issued a whip, MPs loyal to Vaiko defied it

CHENNAI: The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Thursday expelled two of its founder-members and MPs, Gingee N. Ramachandran and L. Ganesan, from the primary membership of the party.

They had voted in favour of the confidence motion in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

The MPs claimed that MDMK parliamentary party leader L. Ganesan had convened a meeting of MPs to discuss the issue of support to the UPA government. They claimed that two other MPs, owing allegiance to MDMK general secretary Vaiko, did not turn up for the meeting, which decided to support the UPA.

An MDMK press release issued here stated that the two MPs violated the party whip to vote against the government, and hence the decision. It was issued by party leader C. Krishnan.

The release recalled that the MPs were removed from the party posts in January 2007.

Mr. Ramachandran was the party’s deputy general secretary and Mr. Ganesan, presidium chairman. They had laid claim to the party name and symbol following differences with Mr. Vaiko and approached the Election Commission, which ruled that Mr. Vaiko’s party was the real MDMK, and allowed him to retain the party name and symbol.

Addressing presspersons later, Mr. Ganesan insisted that he was the MDMK parliamentary party leader when he issued the whip on the morning of the trust vote. The other MPs, who voted against the trust motion, had defied his whip.

Mr. Ganesan said the question was whether the parliamentary party leader or the party High Command had the right to issue the whip. He had forwarded a copy of the whip he had issued and other details to the Speaker and would abide by the Speaker’s decision. The MPs said they would hold discussions with party members and office-bearers before making their next move.

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