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2-min read

No Tamil Nadu Trust Vote For Now: 5 Takeaways from Madras HC Order

The Court was hearing a plea filed by 18 disqualified AIADMK MLAs who are in the TTV Dinakaran camp. The speaker of the assembly had disqualified the legislators under the Anti-defection Act for having withdrawn their from the EPS government.​

Zakka Jacob | CNN-News18

Updated:September 20, 2017, 6:29 PM IST
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No Tamil Nadu Trust Vote For Now: 5 Takeaways from Madras HC Order
Dinakaran has emerged a hero of sorts — a hero who is willing to face every test 'for his people'.
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New Delhi: The Madras High Court on Wednesday said that there can't be a trust vote in the Tamil Nadu Assembly until the court disposes of the case. The Court was hearing a plea filed by 18 disqualified AIADMK MLAs from the TTV Dinakaran camp. The speaker of the assembly had disqualified the legislators under the Anti-defection Act for withdrawing support from the EPS government.​

Here are five key takeaways from Madras High Court order:

1) No floor test until the Court disposes of the case

The reason why the Speaker rushed through the disqualification of 18 MLAs was to bring down the strength of the house and to quickly rush in a confidence motion which EPS and OPS could win based on the reduced numbers. That plan has now been nixed by the court. The political uncertainty hangs over this government like a sword of Damocles.

2) 18 MLAs to remain disqualified, but no elections in these seats.

Any plans that EPS and OPS may have entertained to change the composition of the house by announcing by-elections in these 18 constituencies has also been put on hold by the court. By-polls have almost always tended to favour the party in power as they are able to bring in far greater resources than the opposition. EPS and OPS could have used fresh by-polls to end the challenge by Dinakaran’s rebel MLAs. Now they’ll have to wait until at least the court adjudicates this matter.

3) The betrayal card

TTV at each of his public rallies has been hammering this point home. That EPS and OPS are betrayers. They first betrayed Amma and then Chinamma. The politics of betrayal has huge resonance in Tamil Nadu. When MGR was thrown out of the DMK in 1972, forcing him to launch the AIADMK, he won by playing the victim card. In a replica of sorts, Jayalalithaa who played victim taking on the more powerful Janaki Ramachandran, MGR’s wife, came out with flying colours. The politics of victimhood and betrayal have always fetched high returns in the electoral battlefields of Tamil Nadu.

4) Delhi is in the driver's seat

The other point TTV has been making in his public interactions, and perhaps the worst-kept secret in Tamil Nadu right now is that Delhi is behind EPS and OPS coming together. On the NEET issue, neither the Chief Minister nor the Deputy Chief Minister showed up at the residence of Anitha, the young student who committed suicide earlier this month. But TTV was one of the first to reach there. He makes a political point by suggesting that CM and his Deputy don't want to be seen as taking on Delhi on the NEET issue. TTV’s rallies are also attracting huge crowds, something that will not be lost on EPS and OPS.

5) The last option

It’s been exactly a month since TTV MLAs met the Governor and expressed no confidence in the Chief Minister. Yet, in the last 30 days, Team EPS-OPS has only managed to get one MLA, Jakkaiyan to jump the ship. All others are firmly on TTV's side. You could argue this is for money or for caste considerations. Whatever be the case, it seems unlikely that more will break ranks. With no help coming from the courts, the only option for EPS and OPS is to further undercut Team TTV. And that, going by the last one month, seems easier said than done.
| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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