Tamil Nadu assembly speaker P Dhanapal

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu assembly speaker P Dhanapal is scheduled to hear on Thursday a petition filed by N G Parthiban, a disqualified AIADMK MLA, seeking disqualification of 11 MLAs, including O Panneerselvam, who voted against the EPS government during the vote of confidence on February 18, 2017.
The hearing will be through videoconferencing with the petitioner and the respondents.
“The speaker will hear a petition of Parthiban against AIADMK MLAs, K Pandiarajan and R Nataraj, along with the advocates through video call. A trial run took place on Wednesday,” said an official.
In all, there were six petitioners, including Thanga Tamilselvan, P Vetrivel, M Rengasamy N Murugumaran and S Raja, who had similar pleas against OPS and 10 MLAs for going against the party whip. While Tamilselvan switched loyalty to the DMK, Vetrivel and Rengasamy joined the AMMK led by TTV Dhinakaran.
In July, the Supreme Court sought to know why the speaker had kept the petitions, seeking disqualification of 11 MLAs, pending for more than three years while he had disqualified 18 AIADMK MLAs within a month of filing similar petitions.
Incidentally, the speaker has chosen one out of three petitioners of the TTV faction for the video call on Thursday. “Others will be heard later,” said a source.
In June, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, who is the joint coordinator of the AIADMK, wrote to the speaker, rejecting the contention that whip was issued to the 11 MLAs. He said he got the unanimous support of all the 122 MLAs present at a meeting on February 14, 2017 and got elected as the leader of the legislative party.

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