Also Read | HC Disqualification Order Does Not Make it Certain That EPS Govt Can Survive
In the event of there being no clear verdict in the floor test then the House will have to be dissolved and that could mean an early Assembly election in the state, along with the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
Honourable CM Edappaadi K Palaniswami reacts to the HC verdict upholding disqualification of 18 MLAs: "We are ready to face the by-poll for the 18 Assembly constituencies. Election Commission will decide the date of by-election. AIADMK will Win all the seats in the by-election."— AIADMK (@AIADMKOfficial) October 25, 2018
DMK Chief MK Stalin reacts to Madras HC's verdict, says Democracy must be safeguarded.
Democracy must be safeguarded. Already two assembly constituencies are vacant, now with Madras HC verdict, 18 seats have fallen vacant. Therefore, EC should take steps immediately to fill them: DMK Chief MK Stalin on Madras HC upholds disqualification of 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs. pic.twitter.com/qPxlCjqxIl— ANI (@ANI) October 25, 2018
Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswami welcomes the Madras High Court Verdict.
Welcome the HC verdict. Even if bypolls are announced for the 18 assembly seats, Amma's Govt will win all of them, rest of the things the EC has to decide: Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswami on Madras High Court upholds disqualification of 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs. pic.twitter.com/6kb7jRBnUs— ANI (@ANI) October 25, 2018
Reacting to the verdict, Dhinakaran, who now heads the AMMK after being sidelined in the AIADMK, said he would consult the MLAs loyal to him before deciding whether to go in appeal in the Supreme Court. "We expected a favourable verdict but it is not a setback. I will consult the 18 MLAs on whether to file an appeal in the Supreme Court. Personally, my feeling is we should go for by-elections," he said. Dhinakaran asserted his loyalists will sweep the bypolls. "The court's judgement is different and people's judgement is different," he said, claiming his party and those loyal to it will emerge stronger after the verdict.
In a huge relief to the AIADMK government, the Madras High Court on Thursday upheld the June 14 order of the then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee disqualifying its 18 rebel MLAs loyal to sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran. An adverse judgement could have triggered a political realignment in Tamil Nadu and brought the ruling party perilously close to losing majority in the state assembly whose effective strength is 232. Two seats are vacant.
Party spokesperson P Valarmathi expressed joy over the verdict and said the K Palaniswami government has now proved its 'stability.' "We are very happy...this is a just order," Valarmathi told PTI. When asked about the disqualified MLAs' plea to hold by-elections in their constituencies, she said the AIAFMK was ready and expressed confidence that the ruling party will emerge victorious in all the 20 seats.
Also Read | In Relief For EPS Govt, Court Upholds Disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs of TTV Dinakaran Camp
The 18 AIADMK MLAs were disqualified on September 18 last year under the anti-defection law after they met the governor and expressed loss of confidence in Chief Minister Palaniswami.
In a big relief to the K Palaniswami government, the Madras High Court on Thursday upheld the June 14 order of disqualifying 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs. Justice M Sathyanarayanan heard the pleas of the rival parties after a bench of then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave a split verdict on June 14. "All the material that was available at the time of passing of the order by the Speaker alone has been taken into consideration and this court cannot go into the subsequent events," he observed while upholding their disqualification
Tamil Nadu Deputy Speaker Pollachi V Jayaraman says that this is a victory of "dharma" and a slap on the face of "traitors."
This is a victory for dharma & a slap in the face of traitors & cheaters. Even if an appeal is filed, we are sure that truth only will win: Tamil Nadu Deputy Speaker Pollachi V Jayaraman on disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs upheld by Madras High Court pic.twitter.com/D3ifZceloQ— ANI (@ANI) October 25, 2018
AIADMK MP Dr Vasudevan Maitreyan welcomed the High Court verdict. “It’s a welcomed judgment as our stand has been upheld. Those who have lost all their credibility are bound to speak out of frustration,” he said. He further assured that the government will remain stable and unaffected. “Many people have tried to write the obituary of our government ever since the demise of amma, but we have always managed to emerge on the top,” he added.
I will discuss the verdict with my MLAs and then decide. If our MLAs want to challenge the verdict, we will go to the Supreme Court but if they want to go for elections, we will also be ready for it. There is no chance we will merge with EPS-OPS. Whenever the elections will happen, we will win," said TTV Dinakaran after 18 AIADMK MLAs close to him were disqualified.
After the Madras high court judgment on disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs, Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan said that those who have lost (Dinakaran camp) are now speaking in frustration. "It's a welcome judgment. Our stand has been upheld. Those who have lost all their credibility are bound to speak out of frustration. Government is stable and unaffected. Many people have tried to write the obituary of our government ever since the demise of Amma (Jayalalithaa), we have always come out on top," he said.
WATCH | Here's what can happen next in Tamil Nadu politics as Madras high court upholds speaker's order of disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs.
In an apparent reference to Dinakaran, the AIADMK dubbed him an 'overnight' leader rejected by the people. "One cannot deny the fact that the party has lost its identity and ideology and veered away from the path laid down by Amma (the late J Jayalalithaa). It is now stuck due to a few selfish persons," Dinakaran said without naming anyone. He was apparently targeting AIADMK Coordinator O Panneerselavam and the Joint Coordinator K Palaniswami, with whom he is in a running feud for control of the ruling party.
Days ahead of the crucial Madras High Court judgment on disqualification of MLAs, AMMK leader TTV Dinakran had launched a scathing attack on the AIADMK leadership, saying the ruling party has "lost its identity" and was "stuck" due to a "few selfish" people. The ousted AIADMK leader also claimed that his Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) would 'retrieve' the ruling party.
There were allegations by TTV camp on lack of credibility on part of Justice Vimala who was a part of the bench which delivered a split verdict. It was alleged that Justice Vimala's daughter-in-law had been appointed as an assistant public prosecutor by the present AIADMK government-led by Edappadi K Palanisami. However, with Justice Sathyanarayanan, there was no such claim.
Justice Sathyanarayanan, who delivered the Madras high court verdict on disqualification of AIADMK MLAs, is 56 and is above Justice Vimala on the seniority list. The seniormost judge of the high court, Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh, appointed Justice S Vimala as the third judge to decide the case. Aggrieved over the choice of judge, one of the disqualified legislators approached the Supreme Court seeking to transfer the case to itself. On June 27, a vacation bench of the Supreme Court nominated Justice Sathyanarayanan as the third judge.
Following her imprisonment in the disqualification case, Sasikala had installed her nephew TTV Dhinakaran as the party’s Deputy General Secretary, but his relegation from the party came about in the course of the merger of the two factions. Dhinakaran had started his own political outfit Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam following his victory in the RK Nagar by election, which also saw the first lawmaker from the VK Sasikala family.
"There is nothing called setback in politics. This is an experience. We hoped that the verdict will be in our favour," says Dinakaran.
#BREAKING -- It is only an experience. We will face what we had said. There is nothing called set back in politics. I have asked MLAs to stay back in the resort. We will meet and decided what to do: @TTVDhinakaran on High Court setback. | #18MLAsVerdict pic.twitter.com/2BSaVVeTYc— News18 (@CNNnews18) October 25, 2018
CLICK TO READ | Decoding the Legalities Behind TN Speaker Disqualifying Dinakaran MLAs
The 18 MLAs had refused to support Chief Minister K Palaniswami and revolted against him last year. The MLAs filed a plea with the Madras HC questioning the validity of the Speaker's decision.
"It is not a setback for us. This is an experience, we will face the situation. Future course of action will be decided after meeting with the 18 MLAs,"Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) chief Dinakaran says.
It is not a setback for us. This is an experience, we will face the situation. Future course of action will be decided after meeting with the 18 MLAs: TTV Dinakaran on disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs upheld by Madras HC pic.twitter.com/yg1K9VDSLb— ANI (@ANI) October 25, 2018