The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Vaiko kept cooling his heels

Chennai, Aug. 18: The MDMK today said it has not received any communication from New Delhi on its leader Vaiko’s participation in the debate on the no-confidence motion and the subsequent voting.

On Saturday, NDA convener and defence minister George Fernandes had asserted that all efforts would be made to ensure Vaiko’s participation.

MDMK leader L. Ganesan today met Vaiko, lodged in Vellore jail since his arrest under the anti-terrorism Act over a year ago.

Ganesan made it clear in a statement this evening that Vaiko would not fly to New Delhi to vote against the no-trust motion in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.

The MDMK chief had been specially flown to the capital to vote during the vice-president’s election last year. Ganesan recalled Vaiko’s historic speech in the Lok Sabha during the 1999 confidence vote, forcefully defending the government.

He said if the NDA had faced a similar situation where “every single vote mattered”, Vaiko would have, “irrespective of whether anyone had invited him to Delhi or not”, somehow moved the high court to get special permission to participate and vote against the no-confidence motion. But with the NDA government comfortably placed, no such contingency exists and hence “there is no pressing necessity for Vaiko to go to New Delhi to participate in the debate and voting”, he said.

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