TN CM indicates disciplinary action against Karunaas

Madurai: Tamilnadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami Thursday indicated independent MLA S Karunaas, elected on the AIADMK symbol, might face action for seeking the removal of Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal.

His reaction came a day after Karunaas, supporting ousted AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, Wednesday sent a notice seeking removal of Dhanapal for allegedly acting in a biased and partisan manner.

“You know pretty well what will happen if a no-confidence motion is brought against the Speaker after winning on the (AIADMK’s) Two Leaves symbol… you in media know what the law says,” Palaniswami said when reporters sought his response to Karunaas‘ notice against the Speaker.

Though Palaniswami, also AIADMK Joint Coordinator, did not elaborate, there were reports that the move by Karunaas to seek the Speaker’s removal could be seen as an act of revolt against the ruling party and hence he can attract disciplinary action.

Actor-turned-politician Karunaas, who heads a caste outfit ‘Mukkalathor Puli Padai,‘ had won from Thiruvadanai in Ramanathapuram district on the AIADMK’s Two Leaves symbol in the 2016 assembly polls. The MLA is presently out on bail after his recent arrest on charges of making a provocative speech against Palaniswami and the police.

His sudden move against the Speaker came amid reports that the AIADMK was considering seeking his disqualification, besides that of three other party legislators supporting Dhinakaran, who has been vowing to oust the Palanaiswami government.

Last year, on a plea by the AIADMK, the speaker had disqualified 18 MLAs loyal to Dhinakaran, after they had petitioned the then Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao saying they had lost confidence in the Chief Minister and wanted him to be replaced.

The Madras High Court has recently reserved orders on petitions challenging the disqualifications. Incidentally, the DMK had moved a no-confidence motion against Dhanapal last year, but it was defeated. In his notice, Karunaas had sought to invoke Rule 68 of Tamilnadu Assembly Rules providing for a resolution to be moved for removal of the Speaker as laid down under Article 179(C) of the Constitution.

He had requested Assembly Secretary K Srinivasan to include the resolution in the list of business for the leave of the House. In the proposed resolution, he had alleged Dhanapal was not acting in accordance with the Constitutional and legal principles.

“He is acting in a biased and partisan manner while conducting the assembly proceedings as well as discharging his constitutional duties as a Speaker,” Karunaas submitted. To a question on the reported uncertainty over the setting up of an AIIMS facility at Thoppur in Madurai, Palaniswami assured it will come up as proposed.

The Narendra Modi government had acceded to a plea by then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on this matter, he said. “I will meet the Prime Minister soon. I will take up the matter and insist on it with him. For sure, AIIMS will come up, let there be not any apprehensions about that,” he said.

To a question on the Tirupparankundram Assembly segment here which has fallen vacant following the death of AIADMK MLA A K Bose, Palaniswami exuded confidence of retaining it in the bypoll.