AIADMK MLAs disqualification case: Political crisis looms over Tamil Nadu

Chennai: An uneasy political atmosphere prevails in Tamil Nadu, as the Madras High Court is likely to pronounce its verdict on a case related to the disqualification of 18 dissident All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) MLAs.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader A. Saravanan said if the high court quashes or reserves the verdict, then it would be an advantage for his party.

Saravanan told ANI, “The verdict is about to set a big political upheaval in Tamil Nadu. If the 18 AIADMK MLAs are disqualified, then elections to those (18) constituencies will happen. We (DMK) are in a good position to win those seats back.”

“If the high court sets the Speaker’s (P. Dhanapal) decision aside, the government becomes untenable. The AIADMK will then have to prove its majority. It will be advantage DMK. As party working president M.K. Stalin pointed out earlier, if the situation demands, we will not be averse to bringing a non-confidence motion against the AIADMK government,” he added.

The political crisis in Tamil Nadu began in September last year, when Dhanapal disqualified 18 AIADMK MLAs under the 1986 Tamil Nadu Assembly Members Party Defection Law.

The disqualified MLAs include: S Thangatamilselvan (Andipatti), R Murugan (Harur), S Mariappan Kennedy (Manamadurai), K Kadirkamu (Periyakulam), Jayanthi Padmanabhan (Gudiyattam), P Palaniappan (Pappireddypatti), V Senthil Balaji (Aravakurichi), S Muthiah (Paramakudi), P Vetrivel (Perambur), N G Pathiban (Sholingur), M Kodandapani (Tiruporur), T A Elumalai (Poonamallee), M Rengasamy (Thanjavur), R Thangadurai (Nilakottai), R Balasubramani (Ambur), S G Subramanian (Sattur), R Sundaraj (Ottapidaram) and Uma Maheswari (Vilathikulam).

Post disqualification. the MLAs asked State Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao to remove Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

Alleging mala fide intention by the Speaker, the rebel MLAs moved the Madras HC to reinstate them. Subsequently, the high court had then reserved its verdict.

If Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose give a split verdict, then the case could be referred to a larger bench.

If the disqualified MLAs are not allowed to sit in the House, the 234-seat Tamil Nadu state assembly’s strength would come to 215. (ANI)