September 18, 2017
Chennai: In a major setback to the Mannargudi family, TN assembly speaker P Dhanpal on Monday disqualified all the 18 MLAs supporting TTV Dinakaran, the ousted deputy general secretary of AIADMK and nephew of jailed leader VK Sasikala.
The decision to disqualify the MLAs comes after 18 MLAs had failed to attend an official meeting convened by the chief minister and deputy chief minister and also the general council meeting that ousted Sasikla and Dinakaran from the party posts.
The disqualification of MLAs, now sure to be challenged in the courts, brings down the magic number to 110 MLAs in the assembly and the government will sail through any trust vote or defeat a no confidence motion. Because the EPS and OPS combine has the support of 114 MLAs.
Speaker announced the disqualification of the 18 MLAs on Monday morning, as was being anticipated.
The decision was justified by a ruling party senior leader KC Palanisamy that “the MLAs who went against the party line and gave a written submission to governor was taken into consideration by the speaker before taking the decision.” One MLA who returned to the EPS camp was left even though he also wrote a letter to the governor urging him to change the chief minister as he lost faith in him.
This decision will be challenged in courts, said P Vetrivel, senior pro TTV MLA. The decision is patently illegal and unfair. The speaker has done this only to save the minority government he said.
This formal submission to governor withdrawing support to chief minister, reduced the government into a minority as it enjoyed support of only 114 when the magic number was 117. Now with the disqualification, the magic number comes down to 110.
DMK declared the speaker’s decision as illegal and said DMK wanted to prevent this and had moved the court. But the speaker still went ahead and carried it out, and the decision will have to face the scrutiny of the courts, said DMK Spokesperson A Sarvanan.
Left parties too condemned the move as did the Congress, who said that the decision was illegal and patently unfair.