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The MDMK dilemma for Somnath Chatterjee

Our Delhi correspondent | September 18, 2008 10:07 IST

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Disqualifying lawmakers of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam for defying whip during the trust vote on July 22 will be the trickiest task for Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee [Images].

The party has four MPs; two voted for the government and two against. All four certainly cannot attract disqualification under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution and yet the Speaker has been asked to disqualify all four.

He has to first decide upon the validity of one of the two whips issued to these MPs before proceeding with disqualifying any of them.

The split in the party created the problem, with two MPs remaining with the original MDMK led by Vaiko and two others forming a parallel MDMK that has aligned with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

On the day of the voting, leaders of both factions issued separate whips and later moved the Speaker's office to disqualify and expel those who defied each other's whip.

The Vaiko group is in a soup as it did not inform the Lok Sabha Secretariat about the removal of rebel L Ganesan as leader of the MDMK parliamentary group, the capacity in which he has sought disqualification of Dr C Krishnan and S Ravichandran for voting against the government despite the whip he issued.

The Speaker has another letter from Dr C Krishnan, who has claimed to be the leader of MDMK, and sought disqualification of Ganesan and Gingee Ramachandran for defying the whip he had issued to vote against the government.

On Thursday, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee will be hearing one each from the two factions: Dr C Krishnan from the original MDMK and Gingee Ramachandran from the rebel MDMK. In the next two days, L Ganesan and Ravichandran have been summoned to explain why they should not be expelled.

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