Vijaykant loses leader of opposition status

Chennai, Feb 21 (IANS): A day after he said that his party wants him to be the "king" and not the "kingmaker" in Tamil Nadu, DMDK founder A.Vijaykant lost his position as the leader of opposition.

"Following the resignations of eight legislators belonging to DMDK, the party's strength in the assembly has come down to 20. Assembly Speaker P.Dhanapal has announced that as per rule 2, Vijaykant loses the status as the leader of the opposition," assembly secretary A.M.P.Jamaludeen said in a statement.

He said the speaker's decision came since there is no other party with a minimum of 24 legislators, no leader of a legislative party could be designated as the leader of the opposition.

Tamil Nadu assembly has a total of 234 law makers.

The eight DMDK law makers - C. Arun Pandian, M. Arun Subramanian, K. Pandiarajan, K. Tamil Azhagan, S. Michael Rayappan, R. Sundarrajan, T. Suresh Kumar and R. Santhi - were dissidents and have been supporting the ruling AIADMK party for a major portion of their tenure.

With elections round the corner and the last session of the 14th assembly concluding, the eight have resigned.

On Saturday addressing a massive rally at Kanchipuram district, around 70km from here, Vijaykant said his supporters want him to be the "king" and not the "kingmaker".

As party cadre said "king" to his question whether he should be a "king" or "kingmaker", Vijaykant said: "If I am the king, then you all will also be a king".

On Sunday, two law makers - PMK's Kalai Arasu and Puthiya Tamizhagam's A.Ramasamy - also resigned their posts.


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