Jayakumar puts in papers as Speaker

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In a sudden shock, Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker D. Jayakumar resigned on Saturday amid reports that his recent birthday bash irked many in AIADMK, including party supremo J. Jayalalithaa. He gave his letter of resignation in the morning to deputy speaker P. Dhanapal.

According to an official notification from Assembly secretary A.M.P. Jamaludeen, deputy speaker Dhanapal will discharge the duties of the Speaker during the vacancy caused by Jayakumar resigning with effect from the forenoon of September 29.

As per the Assembly rules, Jayakumar’s successor should be elected by the House, which would be convened by the governor.

Since the state Assembly is celebrating its diamond jubilee on October 29, it is expected that this process of choosing the next Speaker would be completed well before that.

With AIADMK commanding a massive majority (150/234) in the Assembly, it will be a cakewalk for the candidate chosen by party leader Jayalalithaa for the Speaker’s post.

While Jayakumar made himself scarce during the day and did not respond to phone calls, party sources said he had incurred the wrath of the leadership by celebrating his 52nd birthday (on September 18) in a lavish manner.

“There were over 200 flex banners that had his pictures. Posters hailed him as the future of the party. Our leader had very clearly instructed us we must not use any photograph in our posters, other than those of Anna, MGR and the CM. Yet, birthday posters with his photographs were put up all over north Chennai.

This clearly violated party discipline,” a senior AIADMK functionary told DC, requesting anonymity.

General secretary Jayalalithaa had on Friday expelled 12 party functionaries in the city for violating party principles and bringing disrepute to the party.

This is the second case of a senior AIADMK leader getting eased out since the party came to power 17 months ago.

Headquarters secretary K.A. Sengottaiyan lost his party post as well as his place in the Cabinet as the revenue minister in July.

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