Coimbatore: Rejecting demands from various quarters that he should prove his strength on the floor of the Tamil Nadu Assembly, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday asserted that his government had “full majority” since all the 135 MLAs of the AIADMK were with the ruling party.
The EPS-OPS camp is all smiles since Tuesday when 109 MLAs turned up for the legislators’ meet and at least five MLAs expressing their support over phone to the faction, in contrast to just 80 of them attending a meeting early last week. Buoyed by the support, Palaniswami on Wednesday rejected calls from Opposition and TTV camp for a floor test during his brief interaction with reporters.
“AIADMK has 134 MLAs in the Tamil Nadu Assembly and if we count Speaker, the count comes to 135. All 135 MLAs are still with the AIADMK and they have not left the party. The government is strong and there is no threat to it,” Palaniswami told reporters at the Airport. He was speaking to reporters after arriving here on the way to Erode to participate in the Centenary Celebrations of late Chief Minister M G Ramachandran.
Palaniswami’s comments assume significance as it comes a day before the rival faction led by embattled TTV Dhinakaran, which claims the support of 21 MLAs, meets Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao seeking a direction to the Chief Minister to prove his majority.
“109 MLAs attended the Legislature Party meeting (on Monday) and some MLAs could not attend the meeting due to various reasons. The Government enjoys full majority and there is no problem,” the Chief Minister said.
He also took a dig at Opposition Leader M K Stalin, saying he has been “leveling several allegations against me ever since I took over” but none of them have any basis.
Had to implement Neet after SC order, had no option: CM
“Stalin has made it a practice (to level allegations) ever since the government assumed charge. All his charges are baseless and have no truth,” he said.
Replying to volley of questions on Neet, the Chief Minister said his government tried its best to get exemption for the entrance test, but had to “accept it” after Supreme Court stepped in.
“We did not want to implement Neet and we had tried our best to get exemption for the state. But the Supreme Court ruled against out stand and the Tamil Nadu Government was forced to implement Neet. We implemented only because of the Supreme Court order. We had no other option,” he said.