Chennai: With the privileges committee of the Assembly meeting on August 28 set to take action on 20 DMK legislators who displayed gutka packets in the House in the previous session, it will be an uphill task to proceed against DMK members since Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s camp has only seven members in the 17 member panel.
At the prevailing political circumstances when the ruling faction of AIADMK had lost its majority, the privileges committee meeting assumes significance since the government could show a working majority in the Assembly, if 20 DMK members are suspended, before any voting in the Assembly.
If the ruling party suspended a certain number of DMK legislators, they could immediately convene the Assembly and move a confidence vote. With lesser Opposition members in the Assembly they can easily win the trust vote and remain in power for another six months.
But, political experts feel that it would not be possible to take action against DMK members, when the ruling faction does not have majority in the Assembly. Any action by Speaker P. Dhanapal or chairman of the committee would not stand legal scrutiny, they opine.
Though there are ten members of AIADMK (Amma) in the committee, out of the total 17, three are in the camp of party’s deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran. Seven members of the panel belong to the opposition DMK and Congress, while seven members are in Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s faction.
If the three legislators of Dhinakaran’s camp attend the committee meeting, the odds will be stacked against the ruling EPS camp which has only seven members in the 17-member committee. In case, Dhinakaran’s supporters did not attend the meeting or stayed neutral, a tie would prevent the panel chairman from taking any decision.
Political analysts opine that no decision could be taken in such a scenario since the Speaker does not have a deciding vote or any arbitrary role in committees of the Assembly.
Professor Ramu Manivannan, commenting on the scenario said, “In case of a tie, the Speaker could not take any decision. In the voting in Assembly, the Speaker could cast his vote in case of a tie. But, in the Committee of Privileges, he does not have the right or any role to do so.”
He also said Dhinakaran’s supporters are likely to take part in such a crucial meeting since they know about its importance and consequences.
‘Pollachi’ V. Jayaraman (Chairperson)