18 Dinakaran faction MLAs disqualified, Palaniswami govt in Tamil Nadu ‘safe’
With the disqualification of 18 MLAs, the magic number in the 234-member Tamil Nadu assembly reduces to 110, giving chief minister Palaniswami an upper hand in the AIADMK power struggle.india Updated: Sep 19, 2017 08:32 IST
The Tamil Nadu assembly speaker on Monday disqualified 18 MLAs supporting sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran, just two days before a high court deadline for a floor test by chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami.
The decision by assembly speaker P Dhanpal brings down the magic number in the 234-member House to 110 as against 117 before the disqualification, in the case of a floor test.
The Palaniswami government claims support of 114 MLAs, who had attended a general council meeting that ousted jailed leader Sasikala and Dinakaran from party posts.
The decision was immediately challenged by the Dinakaran camp.
P Vetrivel, a senior MLA supporting Dinakaran, said the order was patently illegal and “we will challenge this in the court.”
“The speaker has done this disqualification so that the government wins the floor test. The decision is unfair as well as illegal as 19 MLAs had given in writing to the governor that they had lost faith in the EPS as the chief minister,” he added.
The opposition DMK also challenged the speaker’s decision.
A Sarvanan said it was precisely to prevent this that “we had moved the high court asking for a direction on holding floor test.
“We had reports that the government would disqualify the MLAs at 10am and hold the floor test at 10.30am so that no time would be given for challenging this,” he added.
MK Stalin, the leader of opposition in the Tamil Nadu assembly, criticised the speaker for disqualifying the MLAs, saying he has done this deliberately to reduce majority of the house.
However, the Madras high court has stayed any floor test till Wednesday, when it takes up a plea filed by the DMK and Dinakaran camp MLA P Vetrivel.
Following the revolt of 19 party MLAs against Palaniswami, they were all initially put up at a resort in Puducherry.They later shifted to a resort in Coorg in Karnataka and are since then staying there.
One of them shifted camps to support Palaniswami later.