NATIONAL

DMK, PMK plea to President on T.N. Act

NEW DELHI MAY 9 . Parliamentary parties of the DMK and the PMK today urged the President, K.R. Narayanan, to direct the Tamil Nadu Governor, P.S. Ramamohan Rao, not to give his assent to the controversial legislation which debars elected members from holding dual posts. They said the President should ask the Governor to reserve the same for him.

Stating that the Tamil Nadu Municipal Laws (Amendment) Act was "illegal and unconstitutional", the parties said the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments gave the municipal corporation, municipalities, town panchayats and panchayats constitutional status, and that members of State Legislatures and MPs would be given due representation in local bodies.

In a memorandum, the parties said the Chennai Municipal Corporation, which was under supersession since 1976, held elections in 1996 and M.K. Stalin was elected Mayor directly. After he had completed nearly five years, the AIADMK Government which came to power sought to remove him at the fag end of his term by issuing a showcause notice and failed to make any ground for dissolution of the corporation or his removal.

The only object of the amendment, they said, was to remove Mr. Stalin from the office of the Mayor and charged that the legislation was "arbitrary and violative'' of Article 14 of the Constitution.

"The present Government is bent upon removing M.K. Stalin from the office of the Mayor of Chennai Municipal Corporation. Having failed in its executive, political and extra-legal methods, in a camouflage, they have resorted to the legislative measure. The whole exercise is tainted with not only legal mala fide but also factual and political mala fide'', the memorandum said.

The signatories included C. Kuppuswami, S. Vidhuthalai Virumbi, S.S. Palanimanickam, C.P. Thirunavukkarasu, M. Sankaralingam, Adhi Shankar, S. Sivasubramaniam, R. Shunmugasundaram, A. Krishnaswamy, A.K.S. Vijayan, M.A. Khadar, A.D.K. Jayaseelan (all DMK), P.D. Ellangovan, E. Ponnusamy, N.T. Shanmugam, M. Durai and A.K. Moorthy (PMK).

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