AIADMK 18 MLAs disqualification case verdict LIVE news updates: Madras High Court confirms the disqualification of 18 MLAs; AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu safe for now
- Third judge Justice M Sathyanarayanan concurred with the findings of the then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee
- The interim order restraining the EC from notifying by-elections to 18 constituencies stands vacated.
The Madras high court on Thursday confirmed the disqualification order passed by Tamil Nadu assembly speaker P Dhanapal expelling 18 AIADMK rebel legislators from the assembly under anti-defection law.
After the court’s decision, Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister, Edappadi K. Palaniswami said, “We have Amma’s blessings. If elections were held now, we would win all the seats.”
Welcoming the verdict, AIADMK said it is a “correct lesson for the traitors and that democracy has won”. TTV Dinakaran, on the other hand, told news agency ANI, “It is not a setback for us. This is an experience, we will face the situation. The future course of action will be decided after meeting with the 18 MLAs.”
DISQUALIFICATION VALID: Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, Supreme Court appointed third judge of Madras HC, upholds validity of TN Speaker’s September 18, 2017 order disqualifying 18 AIADMK MLAs in TN.
— AIADMK (@AIADMKOfficial) October 25, 2018
Eighteen lawmakers presented letters to the then Governor Vidyasagar Rao pulling out their support to Edappadi K Palaniswami as Chief Minister in September last year. This followed the merger of the Palaniswami and Panneerselvam factions that were formed after the death of J Jayalalithaa and ascendency of VK Sasikala as the supremo in the AIADMK.
Speaker P Dhanapal had disqualified the 18 lawmakers for “voluntarily giving up their memberships in the party” against which the Dhinakaran faction had fought a long-drawn legal battle. The Supreme Court appointed judge Justice M Sathyanarayanan to deliver the judgment in the case against the disqualification.
Following her imprisonment in the disqualification case, Sasikala had installed her nephew TTV Dhinakaran as the party’s Deputy General Secretary, but his relegation from the party came about in the course of the merger of the two factions. Dhinakaran had started his own political outfit The Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam following his victory in the RK Nagar by election, which also saw the first lawmaker from the VK Sasikala family.
— ANI (@ANI) October 25, 2018
AIADMK spokesperson P Valarmathi expressed joy over the verdict and said the K Palaniswami government has now proved its ‘stability.’ “We are very happy…this is a just order,” Valarmathi told PTI. When asked about the disqualified MLAs’ plea to hold bye-elections in their constituencies, Valarmathi said the AIADMK was ready and expressed confidence that the ruling party will emerge victorious in all the 20 seats.
In the 234-member Assembly, two seats are vacant, including that of late DMK chief M Karunanidhi. The current strength of the Tamil Nadu Assembly is 216. While AIADMK has 116 MLAs, including the Speaker, the Opposition has 98 MLAs.