EPS Arrested As He Attempts To Hold Strike At Tamil Nadu Assembly Over AIADMK Seat Feud
Police detained Opposition Leader Edapaddi K Palaniswami (‘EPS’) and other AIADMK legislators today as they attempted to hold a hunger strike outside the Tamil Nadu assembly over the Speaker’s refusal to remove rival faction leader O Panneerselvam (‘OPS’) from the Deputy Opposition Leader’s seat, which is right next to EPS.
The EPS faction, the more powerful of the two, has appointed a new Deputy Leader and has written several letters requesting that OPS be seated elsewhere. These leaders were ejected from the House yesterday for disrupting proceedings over the issue.
Speaker M Appavu has stated that he is looking into it: “Only the Leader of the Opposition is officially recognised.” The position of deputy leader is an internal arrangement. Members can request a seat, but no one can direct me to move someone. That is the Speaker’s right.
Both EPS and OPS are former chief ministers who co-led the AIADMK following the death of J Jayalalitha until their feud became public earlier this year. Several aspects of their conflict are being litigated in court, but the EPS faction maintains a stronger grip.
Speaking to reporters outside the assembly yesterday, EPS claimed that the Speaker violated the AIADMK’s majority decision by electing RB Udayakumar as the party’s deputy leader in the state assembly, replacing OPS.
“OPS and his supporters were expelled from the party.”. The Speaker appears to be acting on the ruling DMK’s suggestion “He stated this.
OPS, the leader of a rival AIADMK& faction, sat calmly next to EPS throughout Tuesday’s chaos.
The Speaker barred any discussion of seating during Question Period, which is reserved for people’s concerns. He told EPS that he would address the problem later. However, EPS remained stable.
“I understand you all have come with the intent to disrupt the proceedings,” said a visibly irritated Speaker. This is not acceptable
When the members of the EPS-led AIADMK refused to leave, the Speaker issued a warning and later directed the marshals to evict EPS and his MLAs.