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Chaos in TN Assembly; chairs thrown, mics pulled off during trust vote

Chennai: Ruckus broke out in Tamil Nadu Assembly as special session began on Saturday for the key floor test on the confidence motion to be moved by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy.

The Speaker P Dhanapal walked out of the Assembly and the House was adjourned till 1 PM amid violence by DMK MLAs. Legislators tore papers, broke chairs and pulled off microphones after the Speaker rejected their demand of secret ballot in trust vote.

As the session began in the morning, DMK leader MK Stalin questioned the haste in conducting trust vote. He also emphasised upon the importance of democratic means in the state."Democracy will be fulfilled, 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 also sat on the Speaker's chair in protest.

The DMK MLAs shouted slogans in support of former Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerselvam, even as the MLAs backing newly appointed CM Palanisamy, raised slogans against OPS.

Several mediapersons indulged in arguments with the Police outside the Assembly, following which the audio speaker in the press room was disconnected.

Earlier, AIADMK Presidium Chairman Madhusudanan, who belongs to the Panneerselvam camp, had 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.

Palanisamy was appointed as the new AIADMK legislative leader following former general secretary VK Sasikala’s conviction in disproportionate assets case. But, soon after taking oath as the chief minister of the state, Palanisamy lost a few MLAs to Panneerselvam, who now heads the rebel AIADMK.

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