April 27, 2018
Image credit : OPS can breathe easy as Madras High Court dismisses plea for his disqualification for defying party whip and voting against EPS government during confidence vote
Chennai : Deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and his band of 10 AIADMK MLAs can breathe easy as also the government after the Madras High Court on Friday dismissed petition seeking their disqualification for voting against the government during a vote of confidence motion in assembly last year.
A petition seeking their dismissal was filed by DMK whip R Sakkarapani. Dismissing the petition, the court said it cannot interfere in the domain of the assembly Speaker. The original petition was filed few days after 11 MLAs, including Panneerselvam voted against the confidence motion moved by chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami on February 18 last year. The MLAs had violated the party whip by voting against the government.
It was when OPS had rebelled against the party supremo at that time, now jailed leader VK Sasikala and chose to break away from the party. However, after Sasikala was jailed and over a period of time, the two factions came to an understanding and came together once again, but only after ousting Sasikala and her clan from all important party positions.
The petition for disqualification was filed by Sakkarapani soon after Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P.Dhanapal disqualified 18 legislators belonging to sidelined AIADMK leader T.T.V.Dinakaran.
The legislators belonging to Dinakaran camp had written to the Governor expressing their loss of confidence in Chief Minister Palaniswai and asked for a new Chief Minister.
The case filed by the disqualified legislators against the Speaker’s action is pending before the High Court.
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, Speaker-1, Vacant-18, totaling 234. There is one nominated member without voting right.
On Friday the court also dismissed another petition filed by DMK law maker J. Anbazhagan against the unveiling of late Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa’s portrait in the assembly.