Jailed leader's ally assumes power in Tamil Nadu

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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy, a loyalist of V K Sasikala, will seek a trust vote in the Assembly on Saturday, and barring any last-minute hitches, the new AIADMK government is expected to sail through.

Before going to into the trust vote, Speaker has allowed Opposition leader Stalin to speak who said to have demanded for Secret Ballot.

February 18 (ANI): Expressing absolute resentment over the victory of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palanisamy in the floor test, former Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerselvam said the people of the state have been betrayed by the MLAs, adding that at the end Amma's rule will be established.

The opposition includes the DMK with 89 members, Congress (eight) and Indian Union Muslim League (one), while one seat is vacant.

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Sasikala's choice E Palanisamy won the trust vote after 122 AIADMK MLAs voted in his favour. The vote will likely be close as the rival All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam faction led by O. Panneerselvam as well as opposition parties are planning to vote against the government.

After AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa's death in December a year ago, the tussle for power between two party factions, led by party general secretary Sasikala and former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, has only gone from bad to worse. DMK, Congress and Panneerselvam camp raise slogans, voting disturbed.

"People of Tamil Nadu will decide whether the resolution passed today (electing Edappadi K Palanisami) in the Assembly is valid or not", he told reporters at the Secretariat.

He also questioned the need for urgency in seeking a confidence vote when Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao gave 15 days time.

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The Speaker sent out legislators belonging to DMK for creating ruckus, before adjourning the House.

Stating that he requested Dhanapal to convene the session and ensure that secret ballot takes place as insisted by DMK, Stalin said "he (Dhanapal) did not accede to our demand".

She also expelled OPS and 19 others, including senior leaders like Mr. C. Ponnaian and K. Pandiarajan, a Minister in the Panneerselvam Cabinet and a sitting MLA, for supporting him.

He said party cadres and the people were not happy with the current leadership.

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In a message to the lawmakers on the eve of the vote on confidence motion, Panneerselvam said Jayalalithaa had groomed all of them and given an identity.

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