CHENNAI: In a major relief to the E K Palaniswami-led government, the Madras High Court on Thursday decided to disqualify 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs, who are loyal to ousted party leader VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran.
Welcoming the court’s verdict today, the AIADMK, in a tweet, said it is a “correct lesson for the traitors and that democracy has won”. The 18 disqualified MLAs are loyal to the sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran, who has now formed his own party — the AMMK.
Immediately after the verdict , Dhinakaran told reporters that he would discuss with the MLAs and decide whether to appeal in the Supreme Court. Earlier in June 14, the first bench of the court passed a split verdict, with the then Chief Justice, Justice Indira Banerjee, upholding the decision of the assembly speaker in disqualifying the MLAs under the anti-defection law.
With 20 vacant seats, the Tamil Nadu assembly’s strength is down from 234 to 214. While AIADMK has 116 MLAs, including the Speaker, the Opposition has 98 MLAs.