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Dhinakaran claims of having ‘sleeper cells’ in EPS faction

After Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal disqualified 18 MLAs from All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Monday, sidelined party deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran warned that he has 10 sleeper cells in the Chief Minister Edapadi Palaniswami (EPS) camp and that they will be alerted for the floor test.

The MLAs have been disqualified with effect from Monday, under the 1986 Tamil Nadu Assembly Members Party Defection Law.

Miffed Dhinakaran said, “We have 10 sleeper cells in the EPS camp. They will be alerted and activated during the floor test.”

He also accused the Governor of disqualifying 18 MLAs today because he knew that the EPS camp wouldn’t be able to achieve the majority of 117 in the floor test.

He said, “Governor knew that EPS is nowhere close to the number of 117 and hence he delayed the floor test. That’s why the speaker disqualified the MLAs.”

Later, the Tamil Nadu government released a gazette notifying disqualification of 18 MLAs from the membership of the assembly. Another MLA, STK Jakkaiyan, has been included in the list, taking the number to 19.

The disqualified MLAs include S Thangatamilselvan (Andipatti), R Murugan (Harur), S Mariappan Kennedy (Manamadurai), K Kadirkamu (Periyakulam), Jayanthi Padmanabhan (Gudiyattam), P Palaniappan (Pappireddypatti), V Senthil Balaji (Aravakurichi), S Muthiah (Paramakudi), P Vetrivel (Perambur), N G Pathiban (Sholingur), M Kodandapani (Tiruporur), T A Elumalai (Poonamallee), M Rengasamy (Thanjavur), R Thangadurai (Nilakottai), R Balasubramani (Ambur), S G Subramanian (Sattur), R Sundaraj (Ottapidaram) and Uma Maheswari (Vilathikulam).

The Dhinakaran faction had earlier met the officials from the Election Commission and requested them to declare the recently-conducted general council meeting of the party null and void.

Vijila Sathyananth, of the Dhinakaran faction, told the media here that the faction would soon hold a general council meet of the party after the consent of their general secretary – V.K. Sasikala.

The faction also moved the Madras High Court on plea over a floor test in the Tamil Nadu assembly.

The AIADMK, in its general council meeting, had passed a resolution, according to which jailed party general secretary V.K. Sasikala stood expelled from the party and the post of the temporary general secretary forfeited.

The resolution further said that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, E. Palanisamy and his deputy, O. Panneerselvam, shall retrieve the party and its symbol.

Other terms of the resolution state that all announcements by T.T.V. Dinakaran stand cancelled.

Tamil Nadu’s leader of opposition M.K. Stalin also said that he had moved the Madras High Court because Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao did not take due cognisance of his request of conducting a floor test in state assembly.

Stalin said he had asserted earlier that he will approach the court if Rao fails to address his concerns.

The DMK leader demanded an immediate floor test from the Governor.

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