Tamil Nadu: Dhinakaran herds 17 rebel MLAs to resort ahead of disqualification verdict

TVV Dhinakaran, who floated Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagham (AMMK) after getting sidelined by the AIADMK, has vowed to unseat Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami from power.

Tamil Nadu: TTV Dhinakaran flocks 17 rebel MLAs ahead of disqualification verdict
TVV Dhinakaran, who floated Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagham (AMMK) after getting sidelined by the AIADMK, has vowed to unseat Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami from power. PTI photo: File
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 22 Oct 2018 05:36 PM
CHENNAI: Instability scare looms large on the AIADMK-led Tamil Nadu government as 17 out of 18 rebel MLAs, on whose disqualification the Madras High Court will pronounce its order, were reportedly taken to a resort near Tirunelveli district by TTV Dhinakaran, in a move which may increase the possibility of horse-trading. All the rebel MLAs barring P Vetrivel has been asked to stay inside the resort till the judgement is out. Dhinakaran, who floated Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagham (AMMK) after getting sidelined by the AIADMK, has vowed to unseat Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami from power.

The court has recently reserved its orders on the petitions challenging the disqualification of the MLAs under the anti-defection law and is expected to pronounce the order on October 24.  If the court upholds disqualification of 18 legislators, the Palaniswami government having 116 MLAs will continue to remain in power as the effective strength of the 234-member assembly will be reduced to 216.


If the court quashes the disqualification order, the AIADMK government will have to face a vote of confidence to prove its majority, as 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 last year 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.

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