DMK working chief Stalin, cadres sit on fast

DMK working chief Stalin, cadres sit on fast
DMK working president M K Stalin today sat on a day-long hunger strike here even as a similar fast is being observed by his party leaders across Tamil Nadu to condemn "the murder of democracy" in the Assembly on February 18 when Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami won a trust vote.

Stalin, alongwith senior leader K N Nehru began the fast at 9 am at Uzhavar Sandhai grounds here. IUML leader K M Kader Mohideen and those belonging to G K Vasan-led Tamil Maanila Congress are also participating in the hunger strike.

DMK chief Stalin had said on February 19 that passing of trust vote after forcible en-masse eviction of his party legislators from the Assembly was against the traditions and House rules. He said DMK MLAs were forcibly removed by the Watch and Ward staffers. The fast is being observed to condemn the "murder of democracy."

Meanwhile, in Puducherry, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today said the Speaker of Tamil Nadu Assembly should have conceded the demand of the Opposition for a secret ballot during the trust vote, on February 18. In his address to the DMK cadres here, he said, "It is the duty and responsibility of the Speaker to concede the plea."

Narayanasamy noted that as a member of Parliament for more than two-and-half decades he had seen that whenever the Opposition urged that secret ballot be taken up to test majority of the government, it was sanctioned without delay. "When the Opposition DMK and Congress and their alliance parties in Tamil Nadu Assembly persisted in their demand that secret ballot be taken up, it was not conceded by the Speaker and by this act the House witnessed mayhem of democracy," he said.

The Chief Minister condemned the alleged manhandling of DMK leader MK Stalin and eviction of all the DMK members from the House. "This act deserves to be condemned in strongest terms and cannot be brooked in parliamentary democracy," he said.

Chief Minister claimed that the present government headed by Edappadi Palaniswami had come to power "without the people's mandate and there was a growing dissatisfaction among the people against the government which cannot be ignored."

Congress would always stand by the DMK in its protest against the "undemocratic style of functioning of the present AIADMK rule in the neighbouring State," he added. Convenor of the local unit of DMK R Siva MLA presided over the fast held in the vicinity of the municipal bus terminus here. DMK, which has two members in the Puducherry Assembly is an alliance partner of the Congress and is supporting the government from outside.
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