Chennai: Four days after the Tamil Nadu Speaker told the Madras High Court that action has begun to disqualify MLAs supporting TTV Dinakaran, the Speaker on Monday disqualified all the 18 MLAs supporting TTV Dinakran under Schedule 10 of the Indian Constitution which deals with the anti-defection law.
With this, the total strength of the AIADMK has come down to 116. Of the total 234 legislators, the number is now 231 excluding Jayalalithaa, Karunanidhi and the Speaker. If 18 MLAs are disqualified, the total number comes down to 213 and the halfway mark is 106. EPS-OPS merged faction has the support of 114 MLAs which is more than the required numbers to form the majority.
TTV camp, however, has decided its next course of action which is to move the Madras High Court. P Vetrivel, an MLA from the TTV camp said: "They are trying to show majority in a cross path. They have disqualified 18 MLAs. They have done this just in a belief that the majority count would increase. We will take a legal route and move the Court. We will surely dissolve this existing Government."
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapadi Palaniswami while addressing party cadre in Salem district lashed out at TTV Dinakaran. He said: " No one can shake the AIADMK. As long as party cadre supports us, no one can touch the party. There is no dynasty politics in the AIADMK. No one can succeed in dissolving the Government."
MK Stalin, on the other hand, has criticized the move. "TN Speaker has done this deliberately to reduce the majority of the house and has planned this with CM Palaniswami." Stalin has called a meeting of DMK MLAs on Tuesday.
He said, "The Speaker's decision is against democracy and Constitution. This is a murder of democracy. Why were the OPS camp MLAs not disqualified for voting against EPS in previous floor test? This is an escape route taken by AIADMK. We will approach the court."
In August, 19 MLAs supporting TTV Dinakaran met Governor and submitted a memorandum withdrawing support to the Chief Minister. The Speaker had then summoned all the rebel MLAs to appear before him but the MLAs demanded time. Of the 19 MLAs, one MLA jumped ship last week reducing the count to 18.
In the meantime, police officials from Coimbatore visited Paddington Resort in Coorg, Karnataka to arrest an MLA Palaniappan whose name was allegdly mentioned in a suicide note of a contractor. Follwing this, another MLA and former Minister Senthil Balaji filed a police complaint stating that he along with other MLAs are threatened by the EPS camp to withdraw memorandum failing which they will be disqualified.
TTV Dinakaran and his camp reiterate that they will ensure that the Govt is sent packing. The Madras High Court had ordered that floor test will happen till Sept 20 and had asked the Advocate General to get replies of the Governor and the Chief Secretary on this matter.