AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran camp MLAs have furnished an interim reply to Tamil Nadu Speaker P Dhanapal's notice which followed a plea by Government Chief Whip S Rajendran to disqualify them. MLAs have also sought some documents from Dhanapal to enable them furnish their final replies, an advocate who represented the legislators before the Speaker said today. N Raja Senthoor Pandian, who represented Dhinakaran's 18 loyalist MLAs, said protection of Karnataka police was sought for legislators to appear before the Speaker for final hearing, he said, flanked by MLA P Vetrivel. "We have said that we (MLAs) will be coming for final hearing (enquiry), we have not given in writing that we will not at all come (for final hearing)," he told reporters at the secretariat premises. "There is no delaying tactic, give us documents, we will reply (final reply) to it, for coming (for final hearing), we are asking Karnatka police protection" he said and added that a plea seeking protection has been submitted. "We have said that we do not want Tamil Nadu police... there is no obstacle in us coming for hearing if given (Karnataka police) protection," he said and referred to a complaint by MLAs staying in Coorg to Karnataka police. Dhinakaran had alleged yesterday that the ruling faction led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami was "intimidating" his loyalists MLAs who were now camping in Karnataka, by sending police after them. His loyalist MLAs had also lodged a complaint with Karnataka police claiming harassment by Tamil Nadu police. Dhinakaran camp MLAs' interim reply comes days after Dhanapal directed them to appear before him today by sending a third notice on September eight. The Speaker's action followed a plea by Rajendran to him on August 24 seeking the disqualification of 19 Dhinakaran camp MLAs under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution. Rajendran had sought their disqualification after the 19 MLAs petitioned Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to remove Chief Minister K Palaniswami following the merger of factions led by Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam, now Deputy Chief Minister. One of the 19 MLAs, S T K Jakkaiyan had since switched to Palaniswami's camp and he had also reportedly appeared before Dhanapal and given his explanation. Raja Senthoor Pandian said the interim reply with documents explains the basis and background of the MLAs meeting the Governor last month.
MLAs met Rao only in compliance of the party diktak, he said. He claimed that there was no violation of rules by the MLAs, and they had not "betrayed the party, and not left the party." Answering a question, he said once they receive the documents from Speaker, they will be furinishing a final reply detailing their explanation and then MLAs could be asked to appear for personal hearing by the Speaker. The Madras High Court meanwhile today ordered that no floor test would be conducted in the Tamil Nadu Assembly till September 20. Justice M Duraiswami passed the interim order on a plea by DMK working president M K Stalin and MLA Vetrivel. Citing pending disqualification proceedings against 19 MLAs loyal to Dhinkaran in view of their rebellion against Chief Minister K Palaniswami, the petitioners submitted that they apprehended the Speaker might disqualify the legislators. Another Dhinakaran loyalist, Thanga Tamilselvan who is now staying at a resort in Karnataka told reporters there that "as a next step we are waiting to meet President and appeal to him." Senior ruling party leader and Deputy Speaker Pollachi V Jayaraman hit out at Stalin for desiring to become an "instant Chief Minister," and mocked at him saying it will remain a "pipe dream." He said the State government enjoyed majority as all "134 AIADMK MLAs" supported it.
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