A rebel All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam legislator, who was disqualified from the Tamil Nadu Assembly, said he would soon withdraw his petition challenging the Speaker’s order, IANS reported on Saturday. The case is pending before the Madras High Court.
On Thursday, the High Court delivered a split verdict in the case. While Chief Justice Indira Banerjee upheld the disqualification, Justice M Sundar disagreed. The matter will now be heard by a third judge.
“The Madras high court has let down the public and I have lost hope in the judiciary,” said Thangathamizh Selvan, the propaganda secretary of Dinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam. “I am not going to appeal as it would only drag the case and benefit the minority government. I have decided to withdraw my petition for the people of Andipatti [his constituency].”
In September 2017, Tamil Nadu Speaker P Dhanapal disqualified 18 MLAs of the AIADMK who backed ousted party Deputy General Secretary Dinakaran. The 18 MLAs are now supporting TTV Dinakaran, who has formed his own political outfit, the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam. He won the RK Nagar bye-elections in December by a huge margin.
Their disqualification brought down the Assembly’s effective strength to 215, thereby reducing the total number of MLAs required for the majority to 108. If the MLAs are reinstated, the ruling AIADMK government headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam could collapse.
Dinakaran said Selvan’s decision was his own. “My supporters are free to take their decisions,” he told reporters in Chennai. He, however, dismissed reports of disunity, and said they may even move the Supreme Court, reported The News Minute.
However, another disqualified MLA said they would wait for the third judge to decide on the case. “We have faced the legal hurdles and the case has reached the final stage, and we will try to convince all the MLAs to continue their legal battle,” said P Vettrivel.