Chennai: Opposition parties, including the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), boycotted the assembly session on its opening on Monday that heard Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit deliver his maiden address to the House.
Leader of the opposition M.K. Stalin, who is also DMK working president, staged a walkout demanding a floor test to prove that the faction-ridden All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government enjoyed a majority.
Eighteen legislators owing allegiance to AIADMK rival and sidelined leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran were disqualified in September.
Stalin said that the governor’s speech “failed to mention about the increase in debt and the revenue loss that the state is facing." He added that with its praises for the goods and services tax (GST), the speech looked like “it was prepared by the central government."
DMK ally Congress and the lone Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) legislator also followed the DMK members and staged a walkout.
The DMK and other opposition parties in the state have been raising their voice over governor Purohit’s review meetings with the government officials in various districts in the last few months, claiming that these were an intrusion in the state government’s domain.
Purohit took charge as governor of Tamil Nadu in October, taking over from Maharashtra governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, who had additional charge of Tamil Nadu. His appointment came amid a year-long political chaos in Tamil Nadu and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) attempts to gain a foothold in the state.
The session also saw Dhinakaran making his debut in the assembly after winning the 21 December R.K Nagar bypoll as an independent candidate. He defeated his nearest rival, the AIADMK’s E. Madhusudhanan by a margin of 40,000 votes.
Dhinakaran said he would support “a no-confidence motion, if moved by the DMK."
Meanwhile, Stalin claimed that his party will decide on the no-confidence motion after the court gives verdict on the cases pertaining to 18 disqualified MLAs and the floor test.
The session that began on Monday with the governor’s customary address will conclude on Friday.
The assembly session is expected to witness heated debates over the ongoing bus strike by the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation and relief measures for the Ockhi cyclone hit Kanyakumari.