Disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs: Madras HC passes split verdict, status quo continues
The split verdict has come as a big relief to the AIADMK's Palaniswamy government as any possible threat to its stability has been averted for now.
Now the case will now be transferred to a third judge. Justice Banerjee said status quo would continue till the third judge give his order. She also made it clear that decision on the third judge, who will hear the matter afresh, will be taken by a senior judge.
Abiding by the P Dhanpal's ruling, Justice Banerjee said: "In my opinion, Speaker's decision is not unreasonable."
Justice Sundar in his order said: "I respectfully submit that I disagree with the opinion of the CJ and hereby set aside the order passed by the Speaker."
The split verdict has come as a big relief to the AIADMK's Palaniswamy government as any possible threat to its stability has been averted for now. This disqualification has helped the AIADMK to make up for the loss of majority support in the 234-member Assembly. The ruling party does not have the magic figure of 117 but with 18 members disqualified, the halfway point is lowered.
As per the party position in Tamil Nadu assembly, the ruling AIADMK has 116 members followed by DMK-89, Congress-8, IUML-1, Independent-1, the Speaker and 18 vacant seats, totalling 234. Besides, there is one nominated member.
The MLAs were disqualified by the Speaker P Dhanapal after they met the Governor in August last year and gave a memorandum expressing loss of confidence in Chief Minister K. Palaniswami and requested him to appoint a new Chief Minister. Their meeting had come a day after the formal merger of the two factions led by Palaniswami and then rebel leader and now Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam.
Palaniswamy and Panneerselvan deposed Dhinaknaran as the AIADMK deputy general secretary amid the intense power struggle in the ruling party after the demise of its supremo Jayalalithaa in December, 2016.
A resolution adopted at a meeting chaired by Palaniswami on August 28 had said Dhinakaran was “removed” from the post of deputy general secretary. Opposition parties have since been insisting the governor direct a floor test for the Palaniswami government for proving its majority in the assembly.
(With inputs from agencies)
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