Stalin, DMK MLAs arrested after hunger strike at the Marina

DMK working president M. K. Stalin is arrested after his hunger strike at the Marina in Chennai on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Ganesh Tanjorkar

Highlights
  • DMK MLAs evicted, Stalin shows torn shirt before sitting in dharna
  • Assembly witnesses ruckus, broken chairs and mikes
  • DMK’s Ku. Ka. Selvam sits in Speaker’s chair
  • Congress, IUML stage walkout; voting proceeded with those won on AIADMK ticket
  • Dharma has been eclipsed today, but it will prevail, says OPS

Tamil Nadu witnessed a floor test after 29 years, and how. After non-stop frenzy since O. Panneerselvam’s Marina revolt, the shifted to the Assembly where Edappadi K. Palaniswami won the motion of confidence.

Latest updates:

4.26 p.m.: M.K. Stalin, DMK MLAs arrested after their hunger strike protest at the Marina, reports our correspondent Aloysius Xavier Lopez.

Leader of the Opposition M.K. Stalin is arrested from near the Gandhi statue at the Marina where he sat on a hunger strike, in Chennai on Saturday.

Leader of the Opposition M.K. Stalin is arrested from near the Gandhi statue at the Marina where he sat on a hunger strike, in Chennai on Saturday.  

 

4.21 p.m.: Different parts of Karur witness violence. Windowpanes of at least 10 buses have been smashed. Shops and business establishments have downed shutters, reports our correspondent C. Jaisankar. DMK cadres in Tiruchi’s Karumandapam area have resorted to road roko, he reports adding similar protests have been reported from at least six places in Ariyalur.

4.20 p.m.: DMK functionaries are staging a road roko at Tirunelveli junction condemning the attack on M.K. Stalin.

 

4.15 p.m.: Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami pays tributes at Jayalalithaa memorial. Ministers and party Deputy General Secretary T.T.V. Dinakaran present.

PTI adds:

“The vow taken by our party’s General Secretary V.K. Sasikala has been fulfilled,” he says.

“Their true face (those who ignored the party nurtured by Jayalalithaa) has been exposed by today’s result”, he says.

“Solving the drinking water problem will be my first priority,” he says in view of the severe water crisis “that was not experienced in the last 140 years in the State”.

4.05 p.m.: DMK MLAs, leaders led by M.K. Stalin stage a hunger strike near the Mahatma Gandhi statue at the Marina.

4.01 p.m.: DMK MP T.K.S. Elangovan say they have asked the Governor to have another floor test, reports T.K. Rohit.

3.53 p.m.: Ministers, AIADMK MLAs pay homage at Jayalalithaa memorial.  Chief Minister too is heading there.

3.46 p.m.: Today the battle is over but the war of dharma has begun. We are the Amma's faction. Her sacred rule will be reestablished, says OPS team’s Semmalai.

3.40 p.m.: D. Suresh Kumar reports: Dharma has been momentarily eclipsed but it shall win finally, former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam says.

“MLAs were confined in resorts.  Since the Governor had granted 15 days to prove majority, we said the MLAs should be allowed to go to their constituencies and talk to the people before they exercised their vote. We also sought secret ballot but the Speaker refused.                       

“DMK MLAs were forcibly evicted from the House.  They were also injured. This goes against the principles of democracy.

“They have now passed the resolution saying the government has won the vote of confidence. Now people will judge them. When these MLAs go to the people they will realise the opposition. The voters will certainly question them.

“We all belong to Amma's (Jayalalithaa) faction. We will win with the people's support in the future. Until then dharma shall be eclipsed. They (the government) can't respond to the questions of the people.”

Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan’s reaction:

 

3.36 p.m.: Sasikala’s vow has now been fulfilled, AIADMK Rajya Sabha floor leader Navaneethakrishnan tells media.

3.24 p.m.: DMK MLAs stage sit-in at Raj Bhavan, reports T.K. Rohit. Party RS MPs Kanimozhi and Tiruchi Siva too are there.

DMK leader M.K. Stalin arrives at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Saturday. Photo: T.K. Rohit

DMK leader M.K. Stalin arrives at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Saturday. Photo: T.K. Rohit  

 

3.23 p.m.: Speaker declares Palaniswami won the motion with 122 votes, reports D. Suresh Kumar.  Contrary to what Jaya Plus’ report, Speaker goes for a division than a voice vote.

3.16 p.m.: Voting on Confidence Motion begins in Assembly, says Jaya Plus.  It’s a voice vote, the channel says.

3.11 p.m.: Congress, IUML stage a walkout. 

D. Suresh Kumar reports:

“We came to the Assembly today to exercise our democratic duty. But the incidents in the Assembly raise doubts if democracy prevails in the Assembly," Congress Legislature Party Leader K.R. Ramasamy tells media.                        

“We placed two demands, one was to adjourn the House and hold a voting after four days. Second was to allow for a secret voting. But the Speaker refused to accept both.                       

“We placed those demands as the MLAs of the Sasikala faction were confined to one place for a week and then brought here. This would not lead to a free and conducive atmosphere for voting.                       

“Speaker forcibly ordered the eviction of DMK MLAs. Around 2.30 p.m. police came inside and removed the DMK MLAs. The shirts of the DMK MLAs were torn. Many MLAs sustained bleeding injuries. We went to the House to question why the DMK MLAs were attacked by the police.”

3.03 p.m.: Jaya Plus reports: House reconvenes. Speaker has ordered eviction of all DMK MLAs for obstruction House proceedings.

2.59 p.m.: Stalin leaves for Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor, Dennis S. Jesudasan reports. Before talking to the press, Stalin dramatically gets down from his car, shows his torn shirt.

2.58 p.m.: Stalin speaks to media: We asked for a secret ballot, But Speaker rejected it. We sat on a dharna objecting it. I take responsibility for any untoward incident that happened knowingly or unknowingly  inside the Assembly. We will take this to the Governor.

Speaker tore of his shirt himself and blamed MLAs, Stalin says.

He also claims he was attacked by the House marshalls. 

2.54 p.m.: TV channels show footage showing Stalin coming out of the Assembly with his shirt open.

2.52 p.m.: Huge posse of police personnel march in, Dennis S. Jesudasan reports.

2.51 p.m.: Another ambulance enters Fort St George, reports our correspondent Aloysius Xavier Lopez.

2.46 p.m.: Our correspondent Dennis S. Jesudasan reports: Now police enter every room, identify reporters and force them out too. DMK whip Sakkarapani claims Arcot DMK MLA Eswaran's shirt torn by police.

   

DMK MLAs, who were evicted from the House come out of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly premises on Saturday.

DMK MLAs, who were evicted from the House come out of Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly premises on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Dennis S. Jesudasan

          

2.42 p.m.: Stalin, others evicted from House, claims DMK whip R. Sakkarapani, reports our correspondent Dennis S. Jesudasan.

 

2:40 p.m.: Some DMK MLAs come out of the Assembly premises and raise slogans against the Speaker.

 

2.31 p.m.: DMK MLAs led by Leader of the Opposition M.K. Stalin stage a sit-in inside the Assembly, report Tamil news channels. 20 DMK MLAs have been evicted so far.

A DMK MLA is being evicted from the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Saturday.

A DMK MLA is being evicted from the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Saturday.  

 

2.27 p.m.: Seven DMK MLAs, led by Ma. Subramanian, stage stir near the entrance of the Assembly building, reports our correspondent Dennis S. Jesudasan.

2:20 p.m.: A senior officer orders all Assembly Marshals to rush inside the House.

2.15 p.m.: Earlier, former Chennai Mayor and Saidapet DMK MLA Ma. Subramanian was marshalled out of the Assembly. Three more MLAs have been forcefully evicted from House, TV channels report.

2:05 pm

Entry restricted into Assembly Speaker's office.

Entry restricted into Assembly Speaker's office.   | Photo Credit: Dennis S. Jesudasan

2:00 p.m.: Deputy Speaker Pollachi V. Jayaraman comes out of the Speaker's office.

1:55 p.m.: Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar walks in to Speaker office.

1.45 p.m.: Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan enters to Assembly Speaker's office. She told Marshals she was called by the Speaker and was allowed inside.

1.35 p.m.: When the House met again, the Speaker said his shirt was torn and he was insulted. Leader of Opposition M.K. Stalin expresses regret.  Speaker said as per Assembly rule 19(1), he has to conduct the House.

In reply, Mr. Stalin said the Speaker could adjourn the house under rule 122 when there was an extra ordinary situation. Unwilling to buy his argument, the Speaker resumed the session.

Immediately, the DMK MLAs rushed to the Well of the House once again shouting. Speaker ordered their eviction. When the Marshalls tried to evict them, they resisted. They sat in a dharna inside.

1.33 p.m.: DMK MLAs continue to sit inside the Assembly.

1.32 p.m.: An MLA from AIADMK Palaniswami's faction speaks.

"OPS has joined hands with DMK. This just shows our Chinnamma (V.K. Sasikala) was right."

1.30 p.m.: House adjourned till 3 p.m.

1.18 p.m.: Tamil Nadu assembly Speaker P Dhanapal orders assembly police to evict DMK MLAs.

1.05 p.m.: O. Panneerselvam alleges MLAs were being kept in captivity in Kuvathur. Speaker said "A case with these allegations was filed in court. An officer has filed report. The case in court and hence sub judice."

DMK's deputy floor leader Durai Murugan said "then it is all the more reason, you should wait."

12.57 p.m.: AIADMK MLA from Mettur S. Semmalai tells Assembly "MLAs are threatened. My dress is still there in the resort. MLAs should be allowed to go home and to their constituencies and allowed to vote later." DMK MLA from Triplicane J. Anbazhagan referred to the Supreme Court verdict and said it convicted former CM Jayalalithaa and Ms. Sasikala.

12.54 p.m.: Tamil Nadu Assembly is all set to reconvene.

Opposition parties involved in a scuffle inside the TN Assembly.

Opposition parties involved in a scuffle inside the TN Assembly.   | Photo Credit: TV grab

12.44 p.m.: Speaker invites Opposition leader MK Stalin for a discussion.

12.43 p.m.: Throughout the commotion and violence, the treasury benches and MLAs backing Edappadi maintained silence and restraint.

12.36 p.m.: The DMK legislators triggered the ruckus in the Assembly, standing on their chairs. At one point, DMK MLAs Ranganthan and Ku.Ka. Selvam even sat on Speaker's chair. The Speaker was manhandled, report our correspondents.

Grab from edited footage provided by the Tamil Nadu Assembly, shows DMK MLA Ku.Ka. Selvam is seen sitting on Speaker’s chair.

Grab from edited footage provided by the Tamil Nadu Assembly, shows DMK MLA Ku.Ka. Selvam is seen sitting on Speaker’s chair.  

Grab from footage provided by the Tamil Nadu Assembly shows ruckus in the House on Saturday.

Grab from footage provided by the Tamil Nadu Assembly shows ruckus in the House on Saturday.  

 

12.26 p.m: Our Correspondent B. Kolappan reports from Assembly:  The Speaker's table was broken in the ruckus in the Assembly. The Assembly secretary's chair and table were also broken. Agenda papers were thrown into the air. The Speaker was escorted to his chamber for safelt.

DMK leaders Mr. Stalin and Mr. Duraimurugan alleged that they were treated like criminals. Mikes of MLAs were also broken.

12.13 p.m.: Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker exits House, say reports. The House has reportedly been adjourned till 1 p.m. Speaker's chair and mike reportedly broken.

12.09 p.m.: Commotion rules. More than an hour and still no signs of voting.

12.05 p.m.: Speaker gheraoed by MLAs of OPS camp and Opposition seeking a secret ballot. Slogans being raised demanding secret ballot. The ruling party is opposing the desire for secrecy.

12 noon: Uproar again in Tamil Nadu assembly ahead of the all important floor test. -- ANI

11.45 a.m.: Since there is no official information from the Assembly hall as representatives can't communicate and audio has been cut off, we are unable to provide information now.

11.38 a.m.: While speaking in the Assembly, former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said "Everyone knows that MLAs were kept in Kuvathoor." Mr. Panneerselvam further said "People's voice should be heard and then only the floor test should be done in the assembly." -- ANI. Mr. Panneerselvam said "MLAs must first meet people in their constituencies before voting."

11.34 a.m.: Speaker Dhanapal rejects Mr. Stalin's request of conducting floor test on another day.  Opposition demanded floor test on another day.

11.33 a.m.: DMK working president and leader of Opposition M.K. Stalin said "floor test should be done on another day. Why the hurry when the Governor has given 15 days time?" Mr. Stalin said "Democracy will be fullfilled, only when secret ballot voting is done." -- ANI

11.30 a.m.: It will be vote by division at the State Assembly.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami enters the Secretariat in Chennai on Saturday.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami enters the Secretariat in Chennai on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: V. Ganesan

 

11.18 a.m.: Speaker Dhanapal asks MLAs to maintain silence and decorum in the Assembly as the OPS camp and the opposition parties continue to seek a secret ballot. Edappadi Palaniswami not in favour of secret ballot as it could lead to cross voting.

11.17 a.m.: Audio of assembly proceedings cut off in the secretariat press room.

11.10 a.m.: OPS camp, opposition parties seek secret ballot at the Assembly.

11.06 a.m.: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami proposes the floor Test at the State Assembly.

The last vote of confidence in 1988 ended in violence in the House. Many MLAs were injured.

Read more
 

11.03 a.m.: Chaos being witnessed in the State Assembly.  Mr. Stalin requests Speaker to allow Mr. Semmalai to speak first.

11.00 a.m: The all important Tamil Nadu State Assembly begins.

11.00 a.m.: The press photographers are protesting against not being let inside the secretariat.

Former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam arrives at the Secretariat in Chennai on Saturday.

Former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam arrives at the Secretariat in Chennai on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

10.55 a.m.: Former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam arrives at the Secretariat to participate in the floor test.

10.44 a.m.: Semmalai has been appointed as the AIADMK whip, said E. Madhusudhanan, AIADMK Presidium Chairman. The appointment of Semmalai was notified to Speaker Dhanapal.

9.56 a.m.: All the AIADMK Ministers and MLAs from Kuvathoor have started arriving at the Secretariat to vote in the crucial floor test.

DMK working president M.K. Stalin and other MLAs arrive at the Secretariat in Chennai on Saturday.

DMK working president M.K. Stalin and other MLAs walk into Secretariat from War Memorial.   | Photo Credit: V. Ganesan

9.49 a.m.: DMK working president M.K. Stalin arrives at the Tamil Nadu Assembly campus to participate in the trust vote. The road ahead of Fort is choked with vehicles; Mr. Stalin and other DMK MLAs are walking after alighting from vehicles. The DMK MLAs shout slogans while arriving at the secretariat.

9.42 a.m.: O. Panneerselvam and his supporters arrive at the Secretariat to vote at the floor test.  The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami will propose the trust vote at the Assembly at 11.00 a.m.

9.39 a.m.: TNCC president Su. Thirunavukkarasar said that the Congress MLAs will vote against the Edappadi Palaniswami government in line with the DMK's stand.

9.37 a.m.: O. Panneerselvam supporters were arrested near Adyar when they indulged in a protest against the MLAs who are coming to vote at the Secretariat.

9.29 a.m.: Over 1500 police personnel deployed from RBI subway to War Memorial. Fort St George campus has come under unprecedented security carpet. City Police Commissioner S. George and other top officials review the security arrangements around State Legislative Assembly.  Three-tier security has been provided to Fort St George campus.

9.16 a.m.: MaFoi K. Pandiarajan said "A historic day in the Dharma Yudh — confidence motion in Tamil Nadu Assembly — trust voice of conscience and voice of Amma's soul dominate decisions!"

9.06 a.m.: The DMK MLAs have started arriving at the Secretariat to participate in the floor test. DMK working president M.K. Stalin had on Friday said that their party would vote against the AIADMK government led by Edappadi Palaniswami.

Security being tightened around Tamil Nadu Secretariat in Chennai on Saturday.

Security being tightened around Tamil Nadu Secretariat in Chennai on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: V. Ganesan

9.00 a.m.: It is three-tier security at the Tamil Nadu State Secretariat as Edappadi Palaniswami will be seeking trust vote.

The AIADMK MLAs leave Kuvathoor resort in the Ministers' official vehicles with police escort to participate in the floor test in the Assembly on Saturday.

The AIADMK MLAs leave Kuvathoor resort in the Ministers' official vehicles with police escort to participate in the floor test in the Assembly on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: D Gopalakrishnan

 

8.50 a.m.: The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami arrives at the State Secretariat in Chennai for the crucial floor test.

8.23 a.m: All the MLAs have left the resort. A head count was taken before they embarked on their journey.

AIADMK MLAs start leaving the resort in Ministers' vehicles with police escort.

AIADMK MLAs start leaving the resort in Ministers' vehicles with police escort.  

 

8.12 a.m.: Edappadi Palaniswami-camp MLAs are now on their way to Chennai to participate in the floor test. The MLAs are confident that Edappadi Palaniswami will win the floor test. AIADMK MLAs began leaving the resort in Ministers' vehicles with police escort. They are leaving in batches of four vehicles.

8.05 a.m.: The total number of MLAs in the Tamil Nadu Assembly is 234. With Jayalalithaa's death it is now 233. AIADMK has 134 MLAs — including O. Pannerselvam's camp, the DMK has 89, Congress 8, and IUML 1. With the Speaker not voting, the total votes will be 232. Edappadi Palaniswami needs more than 116 votes to prove his majority. In case of a tie, the Speaker's vote will be cast.

The Tamil Nadu Assembly. File photo

The Tamil Nadu Assembly. File photo  

 

As of now, DMK president Karunanidhi and Coimbatore North MLA Arun Kumar will not participate in the test, bring the total votes down to 230.

Air-conditioned buses kept ready at Koovathur to transport the AIADMK MLAs to the Secretariat in Chennai.

Air-conditioned buses kept ready at Koovathur to transport the AIADMK MLAs to the Secretariat in Chennai.  

 

8.00 a.m.: The MLAs at the Kuvathur resort will be starting in a few minutes in private buses to participate in the floor test.

7.55 a.m.:  DMK president and Thiruvarur MLA M. Karunanidhi will not participate in the floor test. The DMK has already taken to vote against the AIADMK government led by Edappadi Palaniswami.

Coimbatore North MLA PRG Arun Kumar addresses the press in Coimbatore on Saturday.

Coimbatore North MLA PRG Arun Kumar addresses the press in Coimbatore on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Karthik Madhavan

 

7.30 a.m.: Coimbatore North MLA Arun Kumar by-passes floor test, returns to his constituency. He has also resigned his Coimbatore district secretary post. With his boycott, Edappadi Palaniswami camp has 122 MLAs. Mr. Arun Kumar said "Government should continue. I am here because of the people's wishes."

Read more
 

Also read: How the battle for CM will proceed on the floor of the house | Complete coverage: Crisis in the AIADMK

 

Tamil Nadu Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao greets Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami in Chennai.

Tamil Nadu Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao greets Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami in Chennai.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

Political activity on the eve of the floor test:

OPS invokes Jayalalithaa’s name again

In a last ditch attempt to thwart the efforts of the Sasikala camp to win the vote of confidence in the Legislative Assembly on Saturday, rebel leader and former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam on Friday night appealed to ruling party legislators to act as per their “conscience” on the floor of the House. He sought to remind them that the people had voted for them only because they were led by Jayalalithaa.

Read more

Will vote against AIADMK govt, says Stalin

DMK working president and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly M.K. Stalin said that all the MLAs of his party would vote against the motion of confidence to be moved by the new Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Saturday in the Assembly.

Read more

TNCC decision today; likely to toe DMK’s line

Awaiting instructions from AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi, the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee has deferred till 9 a.m. on Saturday its decision on which way to vote on the motion of confidence to be moved by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

Read more

Natraj to vote against Palaniswami govt.

Mylapore MLA and former DGP R. Natraj said on Friday that he would be voting against the motion of confidence. This brings the total number of MLAs supporting former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam to 11.

Read more

Groundswell of support for OPS in hometown

In an overwhelming show of support for former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, hundreds of AIADMK cadre took to the streets of his hometown of Periyakulam, calling for his return as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Read more

EC asks Sasikala to explain appointment

Taking cognisance of the petitions challenging the appointment of V.K. Sasikala as the interim general secretary of the AIADMK, the Election Commission on Friday issued a notice seeking her response by February 28.

Read more
 

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