As the ruling AIADMK today sacked its General Secretary VK Sasikala from the party post, the Opposition DMK moved the Madras High Court seeking directions for a floor test in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. DMK Working President MK Stalin said the decision to move the court was taken after Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao "failed to perform his duty".
Stalin on Sunday had alleged that the ruling AIADMK in the state has "lost its majority" with the dissent by 21 of its MLAs and the DMK-led opposition commanding a strength of 98 in the House.
"In my earlier meeting with the Governor, I had said that if he failed to perform his duty we would resort to legal course of action. Now after no action by the Governor, I have moved to court and requested for convening of assembly session and floor test," Stalin said.
The move came soon after the unified AIADMK (EPS-OPS faction) passed a resolution to annul the appointment of V K Sasikala as the party's interim general secretary. The decision was taken at AIADMK general council and executive committee meeting convened by Chief Minister K Palaniswami-led faction on Tuesday.
"Temporary General Secretary post stands forfeited. Sasikala is expelled. All those appointed by Amma (Jayalalithaa) as office bearers will continue," RB Udaykumar, a minister in the Tamil Nadu government led by Palaniswami read out the resolution passed in the meeting.
Udaykumar said AIADMK, as a unified party, will retrieve 'two leaves' party symbol.
He said that any announcement made Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran, who was appointed deputy general secretary by Sasikala, are not binding on the party.
Dhinkaran soon hit out at the party saying that he will now ensure that Palaniswami government is thrown out of power.
"Most ministers(TN) fearing that they will lose elections, that is why they are accusing us of conniving with DMK. You(EPS-OPS) claim you have support of party workers, so if you have guts let us face fresh elections. Now I will ensure that this Government is thrown out of power," he said.
In the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, which has one seat vacant (R K Nagar, represented by late J Jayalalithaa), the AIADMK has 134 MLAs, excluding the speaker. The opposition DMK has 89 legislators, its allies Congress eight and IUML one.
The Dhinakaran camp has been pressing for the ouster of Palaniswami as chief minister since the factions, led by the latter and his predecessor O Panneerselvam respectively, merged on August 21.
A group of 19 MLAs, loyal to Dhinakaran, had met the governor on August 22 and expressed lack of confidence in the chief minister, prompting the opposition parties to demand a floor test in the Assembly.