Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), CVK Sivagnanam spoke to the Nation last week on the current situation at the Council. He also responded to some of the allegations leveled against him pertaining to the no-confidence motion against Chief Minister, CV Wigneswaran.
Following are exerpts:
Q. Sessions of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) got underway after many controversies and conflicts. How is the situation at the moment?
The situation is more or less under control. We are awaiting the appointment of new ministers after the resignation of two of them.
Q. You were the one who handed over the no-confidence motion against the Chief Minister to the Governor. Would it have any impact in the functions of the NPC even though it has been withdrawn?
Actually, I handed over the no-confidence motion as a member of the Ilankai Thamiz Arasu Katchi (ITAK) and not as the Chairman of the NPC. People here have confused it. I only acted according to the party requirements. My name was dragged into this. There were 17 other members along with me.
I was in fact the first signatory for the motion to be withdrawn.
Q. There are allegations that you had acted against the norms by handing over the motion to the governor, whereas the motion should have been handed over to you by the members. What do you say about it?
I completely disagree there. A no-confidence motion against the Chief Minister should be given only to the governor. The Chairman of the Council has no power to remove a Chief Minister. It is the Governor who has the power to appoint or remove the Chief Minister.
In this case, we had a specific number of people who had signed the motion and we handed it over to the Governor, who in turn requested the Chief Minister to prove the majority on the floor of the House. If he does not, then the governor can remove him.
I carefully studied the process before acting on it. There are people who do not know anything about how a provincial council functions who are coming out in the open and leveling allegations against me.
These allegations are leveled against me as they do not know the procedure. I did not act in contravention of the set procedure. I categorically deny such allegations.
Q. There were also speculations that you had aspirations of becoming a Chief Minister. Is that true?
Not at all. I have been part of the Provincial Council process since 1987 and I am here to do my job. I do not have any aspirations of becoming a Chief Minister at all. My intention is to do a proper job in the position that I have been given.
Q. There was a controversy regarding the Chairman’s chair used in the Council. There were reports that you had changed the chair thrice and had spent exorbitant amount to get a new chair. What do you have to say about it?
Yes. The Chair was changed thrice. Let me explain. When I started, there was a small chair for the Chairman. The Chief Minister also had a small chair. Both were replaced with bigger ones.
However, I had an issue with mine as it was very uncomfortable. I sit the whole day and it becomes very uncomfortable. So I got one made. This is not for Sivagnanam the individual. This is all about the chair on which the Chairman of the Council sits. It is about the decorum of the House.
Plus it cost only Rs. 60,000. It is very much less than the cost of a comfortable chair that we use at hoes and workplaces.