TN assembly adjourned after uproar over secret ballot

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb. 18 (ANI): The Tamil Nadu assembly has been adjourned till 1 p.m. after a huge uproar over the secret ballot in the special session today.
With the assembly facing its first floor test in 30 years, there has been a debate over the ballot with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League having mixed views about the confidence vote.
DMK's M.K. Stalin questioned the haste in which the ballot was being done. He also emphasised upon the importance of democratic means in the state.
"Democracy will be fullfilled, only when secret ballot voting is done. Floor test should be done on another day. Why the hurry when the Governor has given 15 days time?" Stalin said.
Stalin also accused the officials of meting out 'prisoner-like' treatment to the dignitaries.
"MLAs are being brought to the Secretariat like prisoners," he said.
The DMK is said to have gheraoed Dhanapal, demanding secret ballot. DMK MLA Ku Ka Selvam sat on the Speaker's chair in protest.
Outside the assembly, the DMK MLAs shouted slogans in support of former Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerselvam, even as the MLAs, who back the newly appointed Chief Minister E. Palanidamy, raised slogans against the party.
Despite elaborate security arrangements and Speaker P. Dhanapal assuring to provide adequate security to the MLAs, several mediapersons indulged in arguments with the Police outside the TN assembly, after which the audio speaker kept in Tamil Nadu assembly press room, allocated for accredited reporters and cameramen, was disconnected.
Earlier, AIADMK Presidium Chairman Madhusudanan, who belongs to the Panneerselvam camp, appointed S. Semmalai as chief whip in the assembly.
Ahead of the crucial 'floor test', Panneerselvam appealed to AIADMK MLAs to vote against Palanisamy. "MLAs should be given time to hear the views of their constituency people. Time should be given till then," he said, during the assembly session.
From the frenzy over Panneerselvam's rebellion at late J. Jayalalithaa's memorial to the secret ballot of confidence today at the state assembly, the political stalemate in the state looks far from getting resolved as the confusion over the occupant of the chair of power continues.
The party leadership appointed Palanisamy as the new legislative leader, when, following the Supreme Court order, party general secretary V.K. Sasikala stood disqualified to take over as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. But, soon after taking the oath as the chief minister of the state, Palanisamy lost a few MLAs, who went ahead and declared support to Panneerselvam, who now heads the rebel AIADMK. (ANI)

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