Leader with majority support should be invited as CM of Tamil Nadu: Legal Experts

Wednesday, Feb 15, 2017,9:16 IST By anju A A A

New Delhi | Floor test is the best way of resolving as to who among the two — Edappady K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam — can be invited as the new Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, legal experts said today.

Their opinion came as Tamil Nadu Governor C Vidyasagar Rao sought the services of three legal luminaries — Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, Soli Sorabjee and Mohan Parasaran to decide on the formation of a new government.

Noted constitutional expert Anil Divan, senior advocates Ajit Kumar Sinha and Govind Goyal are of the opinion that since there is no Chief Minister in the state today, the one who commands the support of the majority of the party MLAs has to be given the chance to form new government.

Differing with them, senior advocate Vikas Singh said “Tamil Nadu Governor is playing politics in the state and seems to be hell bent on O Panneerselvam who does not have a majority.”

“Palanisami has the support of 124 MLAs, then why is the Governor not administering oath to him immediately,” he asked and added that “there is no question of composite test and it looks like that the Centre wants to break the AIADMK party.”

Without venturing into the issue whether the Governor was playing politics or not, Goyal however said “the person who can be called to form government has to show that he is elected as the leader by a group having largest number of MLAs on his side.”

Taking a slightly different stance, Divan said “the correct thing for the Governor to do in this scenario is to call both of them — Panneerselvam and Palanisami — and find out prima facie who has the majority and give that person a chance.”

“Today, there is no Chief Minister in the state. Appoint the person who has the support, as the Chief Minister. Then in five days, conduct a floor test and let them prove who has the majority,” he said.

Sinha, who is a former High Court judge and Vice President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, said “The signatures on paper may not be correct and it has to be resolved on the floor of the House. Many people are voluntarily not coming forward and all this will be clear after the floor test.”

On Paneerselvam, Goyal said today he is only the interim Chief Minister and by the number game, he is behind Palanisami who was today elected as the AIADMK legislative party leader.

He said if Paneerselvam claims the Chief Minister’s post he has to come out with a fresh claim with legislators’ support.