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Sunday, February 19, 2017

violent scenes in TN Assembly ~ famous citizen of Lucknow will not cast his vote !!

Diwan Bahadur Agaram Subbarayalu Reddiar, was the first Chief Minister or Premier of Madras Presidency from 17 December 1920 to 11 July 1921. He  resigned on grounds of health and reportedly  died soon afterwards.  Now TN Assembly is in news for wrong reasons, and the State is having a new Chief Minister. 

The Madras Presidency, headquartered in Fort St. George, was a province of British India that comprised present day Tamil Nadu, the Malabar region of North Kerala, the coastal and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh, and the Bellary, Dakshina Kannada, and Udupi districts of Karnataka.   The first CM of the State upon Indian Independence was  PS Kumaraswamy Raja, who assumed Office in 1950.  After him, came  C. Rajagopalachari,  Kamaraj, M Bakthavatsalam,  CN Annadurai, during whose tenure,  Madras State was renamed as Tamil Nadu  on 14 January 1969.  Since then it has been : VR Nedunchezhiyan;  M Karunanidhi, MG Ramachandran,  Mrs Janaki Ramachandran, Ms J Jayalalithaa, O. Panneerselvam and now     Edappadi K. Palaniswami.   

After a tumultuous couple of weeks, Tamil Nadu witnessed what could be the climax of the ongoing political drama on Saturday amid chaos and ruckus at the Assembly – with the breaking of tables and chairs in the House and ministers assaulting one another. Amid the heightened power tussle, Chief Minister E Palaniswami won the floor test with the support of 122 MLAs.  The rule is simple ! – it the vote of those members present and voting that counts and not those of members of Legislative Assembly and that way when the opposition walks out or is sent out, rest becomes meaningless.  Although the media was denied access to the proceedings in the Assembly, visuals of the chaos were later telecast on television channels. 

The uproar in the Assembly was mainly due to opposition parties like the DMK and the Congress demanding that the vote be postponed after their request for a secret ballot was rejected by the Speaker. The situation went out of control and the session was adjourned for couple of times and was escorted out by marshals. Meanwhile, MK Stalin alleged that he was manhandled as he spoke to the media wearing a torn shirt outside the Assembly. To launch his protest he then went onto met the Governor and later proceeded to Marina beach and started a hunger strike.  The speaker too claimed that he was manhandled and humiliated.
The floor test in the Assembly  was happening  in the state in about 30 years, and many could not stop themselves from experiencing a deja vu. Defending his decision in the Assembly on Saturday, Speaker P. Dhanapal asserted that there was no provision in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Rules to allow secret voting on a motion of confidence. He  rejected pleas for secret voting by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the rebel group of the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Elsewhere, elections are on in the big state of Uttar Pradesh.  As UP goes to polls in the third phase of the crucial assembly elections, it will be for the fifth consecutive time that this VIP voter of Lucknow -voter no. 141, will not be casting his vote.  It is none other than former Prime Minister and Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose name has become synonymous to Lucknow for the past three decades.

He is ill and not in a position to cast vote.  A popular face in all the classes and the masses of the city of Nawabs, Vajpayee cast his last vote during Lok Sabha elections in 2004, the year which also marked his last year of tenure as the constituency's MP, also the last position he held in his political career. After this, he passed on his legacy to Lalji Tandon in 2009, also known as a protege of the leader.  With the voter ID card of No. GF0929877, he did not cast his vote in the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections in 2007.  

A five-time MP from the Lucknow seat, Vajpayee won five consecutive elections and made his debut in 1991. He won the 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2004 elections consecutively. He retired from active politics in 2004 due to health issues. According to sources close to him, the celebrated leader is now suffering from dementia and long-term diabetes. They further say that he is often confined to a wheel chair and hardly recognises people.

People cutting across partylines  regard him   as one of the most vibrant orators.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Feb 2017

Biblio :> the part on UP excerpted from MailOnline.  TN photo credits Indian Express.


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