The 18 Tamil Nadu MLAs whose disqualification was upheld by the Madras High Court on Thursday have said they will appeal against the verdict. The state Assembly speaker had disqualified the rebel All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam legislators after they sided with ousted party leader TTV Dhinakaran in September 2017.
Thanga Tamil Selvan, one of the rebel MLAs, said they will move the Supreme Court against the order within 30 to 90 days, ANI reported. Selvan told reporters in Madurai that the group’s lawyer had pointed out several flaws in the High Court order. He said the decision to appeal against the verdict was “unanimous” and accepted with “joy” by all the 18 MLAs, PTI reported.
The Madras High Court on Thursday upheld Speaker P Dhanapal’s decision to disqualify them after the legislators earlier met the governor and sought the removal of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. This brought the Assembly’s effective strength down to 214 and the majority mark to 107. With the court’s verdict, there is no current threat to Palaniswami’s government. The government could have collapsed had the court reinstated the MLAs.
Palaniswami had welcomed the verdict upholding their disqualification. “Even if bye-polls are announced for the 18 Assembly seats, Amma’s government will win all of them; rest of the things the Election Commission has to decide,” he said.