Floor test on February 18; Palaniswami confident about majority

Panneerselvam says this government “not liked by people” will be overthrown.

Updated - February 17, 2017 12:06 am IST

Published - February 16, 2017 10:38 am IST

Paying homage: Edappadi K. Palaniswami went to the Jayalalithaa memorial after being
sworn-in Chief Minister.

Paying homage: Edappadi K. Palaniswami went to the Jayalalithaa memorial after being sworn-in Chief Minister.

Edappadi K. Palaniswami took over as Tamil Nadu’s 29th Chief Minister on Thursday. He heads a 31-Member Cabinet. Except O. Panneerselvam and Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan, the outgoing Council of Ministers has been retained. K.A. Sengottaiyan is the only new inductee. Mr. Palaniswami is given 15 days to prove his majority.

The Governor’s invitation came "in acceptance" of the letter submitted by Mr. Palaniswami on February 14.

The updates:

9.45 pm: Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami too arrives in the resort. Earlier Mr. Palaniswami thanked the Prime Minister, who congratulated him.

 

8 pm: The government which took over today was nothing but V.K. Sasikala’s, says O. Panneerselvam at Jayalalithaa memorial. “People don't like this government. It’ll be overthrown. We have taken a vow to remove the family rule," he says.

“The AIADMK is controlled by those who were thrown out by Jayalalithaa,” he adds.

7.30 pm: Our correspondent K. Raju reports from Dindigul:

Tension grips Bodinayakkanur town, Mr. Panneerselvam’s constituency, after a clash between Sasikala supporters and his. Mr. Paneerselvam office has been attacked and banners torn. In turn, OPS supporters pelt stones at supporters of Bodi town AIADMK secretary Balamurugan. Mr. Balamurugan’s car too is damaged. The clash leads to heavy police deployment in Bodi.

7.17 pm: Mr. Panneerselvam heading to Jayalalithaa memorial again, reports our correspondent T.K. Rohith.

7.04 pm: Meanwhile news has come in that the Assembly is will meet on February 18, 2017 to enable Mr. Palaniswami to prove his majority.

 

This could be one possible explanation for the MLAs’ continued stay at the resort.

 

6. 52 pm: Our correspondent Deepu Sebastian Edmond reports from Kuvathur: 

As Chief Minister Palaniswamy headed to the Secretariat, several MLAs and Ministers return to Golden Bay Resorts at the Kuvathur on Thursday evening, despite maintaining till yesterday that their resort stay will be over once once the crisis is resolved.

 

 

K.A. Sengottaiyan too shows up, fresh from the swearing-in ceremony.  Some explanations offered by AIADMK men at the gate: rooms not vacated, to pick up backs, relatives are here. 

Tamil Nadu School Education Minister K.A. Senkottaiyan arrives at the Golden Bay Resorts in Kuvathur after the oath-taking ceremony on Thursday.

Tamil Nadu School Education Minister K.A. Senkottaiyan arrives at the Golden Bay Resorts in Kuvathur after the oath-taking ceremony on Thursday.

 

 

6.20 pm: Mr. Palaniswami expresses confidence about proving majority in the floor of the House. He heads to the Secretariat after paying floral tributes  at the Jayalalithaa memorial.

6.10 pm: Chief Minister Palaniswami accompanied by AIADMK deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dinakaran, visits Jayalalithaa memorial. All the members of his Cabinet are in attendance.

6.05 pm: The Election Commission said that it will not issue any statement on AIADMK delegation.meeting

5.50 pm:

Our correspondent T.K. Rohith reports: Stone-pelting near O. Panneerselvam’s residence triggers chaos. Supporters of Mr. Panneerselvam and Law Minister C. Ve. Shanmugam pelt stones at each other. Mr. Shanmugam is Mr. Panneerselvam’s neighbour.

PTI adds

A policeman and a supporter of Panneerselvam were injured in stone pelting, allegedly by the supporters of Mr. Shanmugam.

Police present at the venue brought the situation under control and removed the supporters of either side from the vicinity, police said.

Former Minister K.P. Munusamy condemns the incident saying till the time Mr. Panneerselvam was CM, there were no incidents of violence even as thousands of people used to visit his residence.

“Within one hour of Palaniswami’s taking over, an AIADMK cadre has been attacked. They have attacked their own partyman. How will they maintain law and order? We have started a peaceful protest,” he says. "This is not against (the MLAs)... It is against the family that is controlling you."

“If you continue to attack us, we know how to retort. You should stop," he says. “You can take it either as a request, friendly request or a warning.

“Please carry on with your work. Our fight (Dharma Yudham) is against Sasikala, Dinakaran and Diwakaran. Please don't indulge in such unnecessary incidents.”

Former Minister Natham Viswanathan says, “Within one hour they have started violence. How will this government function? This is an example. People should understand what is happening.

“This government won't last long. The Law minister should protect the people. They themselves are breaking the law. A police constable too has been hurt. They have to inquire into the incident to find out who is behind. If it’s a Minister, they should take action. There’s an attack on a former CM’s residence just an hour after a new govt. took over. What is happening?”

Meanwhile, the LED screen put up outside Mr. Panneerselvam’s house has been shut down.

4.57 pm: Oath-taking ceremony concludes. Now, the action shifts to the Assembly, where Mr. Palaniswami should prove his majority within 15 days.  This en masse oath-taking was introduced by Jayalalithaa, when she took over as Chief Minister in May 2015 after her acquittal in the DA case by the Karnataka High Court. The same style was repeated in May 2016 when she was voted back to power and on December 5, 2016 when the O. Paneerselvam Cabinet took over following her death.

4.46 p.m.: It is going to be a collective oath-taking ceremony. Ministers take oath in groups of eight.

C. Sreenivasan, K.A. Senkottaiyan, Sellur K. Raju and P. Thangamani take oath as Ministers in Chennai on Thursday.

C. Sreenivasan, K.A. Senkottaiyan, Sellur K. Raju and P. Thangamani take oath as Ministers in Chennai on Thursday.

 

4.45 p.m.: Edappadi Palaniswami being administered oath of office and secrecy. Mr. Palaniswami takes oath as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.  He becomes the 29th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Edappadi K. Palaniswami takes oath as the 29th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Thursday.

Edappadi K. Palaniswami takes oath as the 29th Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Thursday.

 

4.40 p.m. : The oath-taking ceremony begins.

4.30 p.m.: All set for Edappadi Palaniswami to be sworn-in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao has arrived and the national anthem is being played now. Mr. Vidyasagar Rao will administer oath of office and secrecy to Edappadi Palaniswami and his 31-member Cabinet.

3.50 p.m.: Eight Lok Sabha and two Rajya Sabha MPs of AIADMK met EC to submit that Sasikala's appointment as interim general secretary of the party was illegal. The MPs also requested the EC not to allot the party symbol to Sasikala faction. Accompanied by other party members, the delegation of MPs said the appointment of deputy general secretary was also illegal as per the party constitution.

AIADMK delegation led by Dr V Maitreyan comes out after meeting the Election Commission in New Delhi on Thursday.

AIADMK delegation led by Dr V Maitreyan comes out after meeting the Election Commission in New Delhi on Thursday.

 

3.15 p.m: Edappadi Palaniswami to head 31-member Ministry.

All members of outgoing Cabinet except Panneerselvam and Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan have been retained.

Dindigul Srinivasan will be number two in seniority in the new Cabinet. Sengottaiyan is ranked No 3.

 

The new Ministers and their portfolios:

Edappadi K. Palaniswami - Home, Finance, PWD, Irrigation, Highways, Public, Elections, Personnel

Dindigul Srinivasan - Forest

Sengottaiyan - School Education - He is the new minister. He is replacing MaFoi K. Pandiarajan.

O.S. Manian - Handlooms

Sellur Raju - Cooperation

C Vijaya Baskar - Health

D Jayakumar - Fisheries

M C Sampath - Industries

Karupannan - Environment

Thangamani - Electricity

Velumani - Municipal Administration

C.Ve Shanmugham - Law

K.P. Anbazhagan - Higher Education

Kamaraj - Food and Civil Supplies

V. Saroja - Social Welfare

K. Radhakrishnan - Housing and Urban Development

Duraikannu- Agriculture

Kadambur Raju - Information and Publicity

R.B. Udhayakumar - Revenue

Natarajan - Tourism

K.C. Veeramani - Commercial Taxes

K.T. Rajendra Balaji - Milk and Dairy Development

P.Benjamin - Rural Industries

Dr Nilofer Kafeel - Labour

M.R.Vijayabhaskar - Transport

Dr. M. Manikandan  - Information Technology

V.M. Rajalakshmi - Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare

G. Baskaran - Khadi and Village Industries Board

Sevvoor S. Ramachandran - Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments

S.Valarmathi - Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare

P. Balakrishna Reddy - Animal Husbandry

 

2.55 p.m.: Senior AIADMK leader C. Ponnaiyan said "The posts the other faction has is illegal. We are still legally in the posts that was given to us by late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. The new occupants of the posts are  illegal." Mr. Ponnaiyan said "The nomination of TTV Dinakaran is illegal."

He further added "Post of general secretary is through election by the party members."  He said "In the absence of a general secretary the other office bearers carry out the duties of the general secretary."

2.50 p.m.: Speaking to reporters from OPS' house, MaFoi Pandiarajan said "The faction that is trying to form government is invalid we had said."  He further said "All MLAs if they vote with their conscience will not vote for the family. We have lodged a complaint with the EC."

Former Minister Semmalai said "We will continue this fight he says. Terms it dharma yudham. I have been in AIADMK. I am from Salem district's mettur. People asked me to come and listen to them. I listened to the voters and the party functionaries for a day."

Mr. Semmalai said "Based on their views I realised people's opinions and decided to give my support to OPS. OPS has the goodwill of the people."  Mr. Semmalai said "People and followers are on our side. OPS will win this dharma yudham."

1.40 p.m.: Meanwhile, some of the MLAs have started to leave Golden Bay Resorts in Kuvathur.

And, at party headquarters, supporters are distributing sweets, celebrating the Governor's invitation of Mr. Palaniswami to form the government.

S. Poorvaja captures this:

 

1.24 p.m.:T.K. Rohit says Mr. Panneerselvam is about to address a gathering outside his residence at Greenways Road. Mr. Panneerselvam says he will fight the "dharma yudham" till Amma's rule is reinstated in Tamil Nadu again. "We should all get together and prevent the party from going into the hands of one family," he adds.

 

His short address is over. Mr. Panneerselvam is leaving to meet a supporter who immolated himself. A convoy is getting ready.

12.43 p.m.: Party supporters at Golden Bay Resorts in Kuvathur hail interim general secretary V.K. Sasikala.

Meanwhile, our correspondent Devesh K. Pandey from Delhi reports that party MP V. Maitreyan has sought a meeting with the Election Commission of India. The Commission will meet him at 2.45 p.m.

This outcome of the meeting will decide the validity of Ms. Sasikala's actions as the general secretary of the party.

 

12.31 p.m.: Here's a detailed profile of Mr. Palaniswami.

The AIADMK’s new Legislature Party leader Edappadi K. Palaniswami, who is the Minister for Public Works, State Highways and Minor Ports, has been a staunch loyalist of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo Jayalalithaa since the time she entered active politics in the 1980s.

 

He was part of her four-member kitchen cabinet from 2011-16 along with Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and former ministers Natham R. Viswanathan and R. Vaithilingam. Presently, he is ranked number three in the Cabinet.

Hailing from the rural Nedungulam village in Edappadi taluk, 62-year-old Mr. Palaniswami joined AIADMK in the 1980s. He threw his weight behind Jayalalithaa when the party suffered a split after the demise of founder M.G. Ramachandran in 1987.

 

12.14 p.m.: Edappadi K. Palaniswami has to prove his majority within 15 days. The leader and the Minister will be sworn in at 4 p.m.

At Mr. Panneerselvam's residence, the reactions are in contrast to those at Kuvathur.

 

11.35 a.m. AIADMK legislature party leader Edappadi K. Palaniswami has arrived at Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao.

10.56 a.m.: Mr. Palaniswami has left Golden Bay Resorts in Kuvathur with four Ministers, including S.P. Velumani and P. Thangamani.

10.40 a.m.: Here's a round-up of the developments on Wednesday.

The two camps — one led by Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and the other by Mr. Palaniswami — met the Governor late night. “The meeting lasted for about 25 minutes. We told the Governor that it was a clear case of majority, and Mr. Palaniswami should be invited to form the government,” said a party senior, who was at the meeting.

“We also told him that Mr. Palaniswami was also popular and known among the people in the State. We asked him to render justice. The Governor did not say anything. He treated us with respect and listened to us,” he said.

Speaking to reporters outside the Raj Bhavan, Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar said, “We informed the Governor that Mr. Palaniswami has been nominated unanimously by the party MLAs. We have confidence that he will uphold democracy. He informed us that he will consider our views.”

“We have 124 MLAs. They [Mr. Panneerselvam’s camp] have only 8 MLAs. Is 8 big or is 124? Think about it,” Mr. Jayakumar said.

AIADMK interim general secretary V.K. Sasikala, convicted by the Supreme Court in the disproportionate assets case on Tuesday, surrendered at a special court, a few hundred metres from Bengaluru Central Prison at Parappana Agrahara, and became prisoner no. 9234.

Before leaving for Bengaluru by road on Wednesday, Ms. Sasikala stopped by at the memorial to Jayalalithaa on the Marina in Chennai and dramatically slapped the memorial’s slab thrice as if taking a vow. After this, she headed out to former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran’s house in Ramavaram and paid floral tributes to his portrait and his statue. She also spent a few minutes sitting on the floor of the house in front of the portrait.

 

 

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