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Hold trust vote by secret ballot, we will win: rebel AIADMK leader Pandiarajan

Coimbatore: Rebel AIADMK leader K Pandiarajan on Saturday claimed his faction would “emerge victorious” if the trust motion is put to vote again through secret ballot and exuded confidence of winning the April 12 RK Nagar bypoll.

Stating that former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam-led faction had on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking a secret ballot for trust vote, he said “if it’s done, we are confident of winning majority.”

“All the MLAs have visited their constituencies and understood the people’s sentiment. There will be a change in Tamil Nadu, as in the MLAs’ conscience,” he claimed.

He said his faction has a bright chance of winning the R K Nagar bypoll.

“As things stand, we have bright prospects of winning the R K Nagar by election,” he told reporters.

He said Panneerselvam would announce the faction’s candidate for the bypoll at Chennai tomorrow.

The bypoll has been necessitated following the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

On the AIADMK’s “two-leaves” poll symbol, he said his faction would surely get it back because as per the party constitution, the presidium chairman and the treasurer were the party authorites after the removal of its general secretary.

The rebel faction had yesterday moved the apex court, challenging the decision of the Tamil Nadu assembly speaker, who had rejected their demand for a secret ballot during the February 18 trust vote, which was won by Chief Minister E K Palaniswami.

Pandiarajan in his petition to the apex court has sought a direction to quash Speaker P Dhanapal’s decision rejecting the demand for a secret ballot to determine the outcome of the floor test.

He has also sought setting aside all consequential actions, including the February 18 resolution of the assembly and a direction to the speaker to conduct a floor test afresh only through a secret ballot in the presence of “independent and impartial” observers nominated by the Supreme Court.

On February 18, jailed AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala loyalist E K Palaniswami had won the trust vote bagging 122 votes in favour and 11 amid the eviction of the main opposition DMK and walkout by its allies.

PTI