June 14, 2018
The fate of the E Palaniswami-led government in Tamil Nadu hangs in the balance as the Madras High Court is likely to deliver its verdict in the disqualification case of 18 AIADMK MLAs today.
The 18 MLAs were disqualified by Speaker P Dhanapal under the Anti-defection Law in September last year. These MLAs are close to VK Sasikala and had written to the governor to replace Palaniswami as the CM.
Following their suspension, they extended support to Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, a party floated by TTV Dhinakaran, brother of Sasikala and the ousted Deputy General Secretary of AIADMK.
Dhinakaran is also the sitting MLA from RK Nagar, a constituency previously held by former AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa.
WHY HC VERDICT IS IMPORTANT
1.The Tamil Nadu assembly has a total of 235 members. At present, the AIADMK has 117 MLAs. The party also has the support of the lone nominated member, taking its tally to 118. If we exclude the Speaker, the effective voting strength of the ruling party becomes 117, which is also the halfway mark.
2.The alliance of DMK, Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League collectively has 98 MLAs. If Dhinakaran (presently an independent MLA) and the 18 MLAs facing suspension extend support to the DMK, the alliance will have 117 MLAs.
3.The DMK-led alliance can then meet the governor and stake claim to form government, thus necessitating a trust vote in the House.
4.The law provides that the Speaker can vote in a trust vote in case there is a tie. For the AIADMK to sail through the trust vote, it will have to ensure that no one of the AIADMK MLAs abstain from the trust vote and also ensure that the nominated member votes for it.
5.AIADMK is in a tight spot also because three AIADMK MLAs have recently announced to extend support to Dhinakaran.