Madras HC marks E Palaniswami’s TN government safe
Chennai, Oct 25: The verdict by the Madras High Court which upheld the disqualification of 18 MLAs belonging to the TTV Dinakaran camp has come as a relief to the E Palaniswami led government in Tamil Nadu.
The High Court maintained that the status quo would continue. This means that majority now needed in the now reduced 215 member house is 108. The ruling party has the support of 109 MLAs excluding the Speaker.
There were some tense moments in the run up to this verdict. Had the HC overturned the Speaker's order, then the government would have been reduced to a minority. The government would have found the going tough as the rebel MLAs would have called for a fresh floor test.
EPS had cancelled all appointments ahead of this verdict and held discussions with his Law Minister to decide on the next course of action. However this HC verdict would have brought about a sigh of relief to EPS and his MLAs.
On September 18 2017, Tamil Nadu assembly speaker, P Dhanpal had disqualified 18 legislators under the anti-defection law. This was seen a pre-emptive move to scuttle any attempt by Dinakaran to dislodge the government.
Prior to this the MLAs approached the Governor of Tamil Nadu expressing lack of confidence in the CM and seeking a change of guard. With the Governor taking no decision, the speaker swung into action and disqualified the MLAs for voluntarily giving up the membership of the AIADMK.