Chennai: The Tamil Nadu legislators loyal to TTV Dinakaran who were disqualified last September for rebelling against the EK Palaniswami government have decided to approach the Supreme Court just days after the Madras High Court delivered a split verdict in the case.
The rebel MLAs, who had defected from AIADMK to Dinakaran’s new political party, will ask the SC to take up the case, even as a third judge from the HC deliberates over the final judgment to end the tiebreak.
Disqualified MLA P Vetrivel confirmed the plans to move the apex court, but said that it would not be appropriate to reveal the grounds on which their petition will be filed.
However, even before the petition is moved, differences have cropped up in the Dinakaran camp. Thanga Tamil Selvan, one of the disqualified MLAs and a key lieutenant of Dinakaran, told CNN-News18 he is not on board with this move.
Selvan said that he will travel to Chennai on Monday to hold discussions with the leaders of TTV camp. He also mentioned that he stands by his decision to withdraw the petition challenging the disqualification and would instead want to face a bypoll.
Just a few days ago, Selvan had painted a picture of unity and stoutly denied that any rebel MLA could rejoin the AIADMK.
Dinakaran, too, had dismissed reports of a split in his faction and asserted that all 18 disqualified MLAs and a couple of others from the ruling government are in touch with him. "When the floor test is held, you will know the strength of our party," he had said.
On June 14, the first bench of the Madras High Court led by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar had come out with differing judgments in the disqualification case – while the CJ found no reason to cancel the disqualification, Justice Sundar said the Speaker’s disqualification order under the anti-defection law “deserved to be set aside”.
Soon after, the Madras High Court had appointed Justice S Vimala as the third judge whose decision will decide the outcome of the case.
The decision was a setback for TTV Dinakaran and came as shot in the arm for the EK Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam government in the state as it gave them a reprieve from a test of strength for at least a few more months. The TTV camp had said after the verdict that it would seek an expedited hearing by the third judge.