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DMK moves Madras HC on AIADMK MLAs’ payoff claims in TV sting

LiveMint logoLiveMint 13-06-2017 Dharani Thangavelu

Chennai: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Tuesday approached the Madras high court seeking a probe into the alleged bribing of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) legislators ahead of a floor test in the Tamil Nadu state assembly in February.

Two MLAs from rival factions of the Tamil Nadu ruling party were caught on tape during a joint sting operation by Times Now and a Tamil channel Moon TV, claiming that the AIADMK legislators were offered money and gold. Following this, DMK senior counsel and former Rajya Sabha MP R. Shanmugasundaram moved a bench headed by chief justice Indira Banerjee. The bench will take up the plea for hearing on Friday.

The video recordings that were aired by the two television channels on Monday caught on tape Madurai South MLA S.S. Saravanan of the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) faction led by former chief minister O. Panneerselvam and Sulur MLA R. Kanagaraj from the Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s AIADMK (Amma) camp.

However, Saravanan denied the allegations and claimed that his “voice was dubbed in the video footage.”

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“Discussions will be held with legal experts and a case will be filed against the television channels,” he said on Tuesday.

DMK had earlier filed a public interest litigation in the Madras high court seeking to declare the confidence vote won by chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami in the Tamil Nadu assembly in February, as “null and void”, following the “illegal eviction” of DMK legislators.

The opposition party had also questioned the confinement of legislators from the AIADMK (Amma) faction, in a private resort on the outskirts of Chennai for nearly two weeks, presumably to avoid horse-trading and brought to the assembly on the day of trust vote.

Palaniswami won the vote by a 122-11 margin in the 234-member assembly after the eviction of MLAs belonging to the DMK.

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