A day after the DMK's demand for a floor test in the Assembly, Congress Legislature Party leader K R Ramasamy on Wednesday backed it and urged Tamil Nadu Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to direct Chief Minister K Palaniswami to prove his majority in the House.
Ramasamy, in a letter to Rao, claimed that "consequent upon identical letters given by 22 MLAs to the governor, expressing lack of confidence in the chief minister, an unprecedented constitutional crisis has erupted".
Officially, the Raj Bhavan did not, however, confirm if T T V Dhinakaran's loyalists had pressed for a trust vote.
Ramasamy's letter to Rao comes in the backdrop of 19 MLAs, owing allegiance to Dhinakaran, reportedly submitting a letter to the governor yesterday, expressing their "lack of confidence" in Palaniswami and seeking his ouster.
Ramasamy claimed that as a result of the letters given by the MLAs to the governor, the incumbent government led by Palaniswami had lost the majority.
MLA Thanga Tamilselvan, a Dhinakaran loyalist who was part of the team that met the governor yesterday, had said, "We do not have confidence in the chief minister. We have briefed the governor and said the chief minister should be removed."
Citing the development, Ramasamy said on a previous occasion in Karnataka, the then governor of that state had directed former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa to prove his majority in the House.
"Any inordinate delay in asking the chief minister to prove his majority will pave the way for the continuance of an unconstitutional government," the Congress leader said.
Such a delay, he said, would "destabilise democratic norms and precedents", besides creating room for the "evil practice of horse-trading", which he claimed had "occurred" when the incumbent chief minister had proved his majority in February.
"As the leader of the Congress Legislature Party, I, therefore request the governor to direct Palaniswami to prove his majority in the House immediately," Ramasamy said.
He urged the governor to direct Palaniswami to prove his majority and "uphold the constitutional norms and the parameters laid down in the SR Bommai case".
It may be recalled that the Supreme Court, in the SR Bommai case, had held that the only place to ascertain the majority of a government was the floor of the House.