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Coimbatore North MLA Arun Kumar out of Palaniswami camp; to abstain from voting

Saturday, Feb 18, 2017,11:00 IST By joji A A A

Coimbatore | The Edapaddi K Palaniswami camp received a jolt ahead of voting on the confidence motion in the Tamil Nadu Assembly today when Coimbatore North MLA Arun Kumar walked out of it and decided to abstain.

Arun Kumar told reporters here today that voters and supporters in his constituency were not in favour of the functioning of the present AIADMK leadership.

“Considering the people’s mandate, I decided to abstain from voting and not support Chief Minister Edapadi Palanisamy,” Kumar said.

The MLA also demanded that Palaniswami relieve himself from the “clutches of family politics” and concentrate on good governance.

“Ideology is more important to me than money and power,” he said.

The MLA said he had escaped last night from the resort at Koovathur, about 80 km from Chennai, where many MLAs supporting AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala were staying.

Arun Kumar also announced his decision to resign from the post of Coimbatore Urban District secretary.

His announcement has reduced the Palaniswami camp’s support to 122 members in the 234 member house.

Opposition DMK has said its legislators would vote against the Palaniswami government.

However, it was not clear if DMK President M Karunanidhi, representing Tiruvarur constituency, would be present for voting due to his ill health.

The state Congress Committee chief had yesterday said the party unit would take a decision based on the “advice” of the party high command.

DMK has 89 MLAs in the Tamil Nadu Assembly while Congress has eight.