Stepping up the campaign, a delegation of opposition leaders on Thursday met President Ram Nath Kovind and sought an immediate floor test in the Tamil Nadu assembly so that Chief Minister K. Palaniswami proves his legislative majority.
Leaders from the DMK, Congress, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Communist Party of India (CPI) told the President that the Palaniswami government had lost majority support as 19 MLAs owing allegiance to the Dinakaran faction in the AIADMK have told the Governor that they have withdrawn support to the Chief Minister.
Congress leader Anand Sharma, who was part of the delegation, told reporters: “We met Rashtrapatiji to convey our grave concerns over the political instability and uncertainty in Tamil Nadu because the Chief Minister has lost majority.”
He said the opposition leaders in Tamil Nadu had met the Governor urging him to convene an urgent session of the Assembly and ask the Chief Minister to prove his majority on the floor of the House.
“It is the settled constitutional position. We have collectively conveyed this to the President. We have conveyed in writing that 21 MLAs have told the Governor about withdrawing support to the state government,” Sharma said.
After 19 AIADMK MLAs withdrew support to the Chief Minister, two more MLAs joined them.
CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said if there was an uncertainty of numbers in any assembly or Parliament, the only way open “which the judiciary and Presidency of India has always adhered to” was to test the majority in the House.
“The point is that any government will have to enjoy the majority of the elected legislators. That can be demonstrated and established only on the floor of the House. So our demand is immediately convene the Assembly and let the confidence motion be put to vote,” Yechury said.
DMK leader Kanimozhi reiterated the demand for a full-time Governor for Tamil Nadu. Currently, Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao is holding additional charge of Tamil Nadu.
“We have been raising this time and again that Tamil Nadu does not have a full-time Governor. It is of great concern as it is an important state going through a crisis,” she said.
Besides Sharma, Yechury and Kanimozhi, DMK Rajya Sabha MP Tiruchi Siva and CPI leader D. Raja were also part of the delegation.