Stay on TN Assembly floor test continues

Our Bureau Agencies Chennai | Updated on January 08, 2018


High Court defers case to October 9

With the battle between the two factions of the ruling AIADMK and the main opposition DMK shifting to the courts, the fate of the disqualified ruling party MLAs, and the question of whether the Tamil Nadu government has the adequate majority to retain power, remain in the balance.

The Madras High Court on Wednesday continued its stay on a floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly after hearing a petition challenging the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal’s decision last month to disqualify 18 legislators of the ruling AIADMK loyal to VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran.

The MLAs had submitted letters to then Governor Vidyasagar Rao that they did not have confidence in Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, though they continued to remain in the AIADMK.

The 18 members also approached the court against the disqualification. In the ongoing hearing on Wednesday, the court heard their representation and posted the case for October 9.

The AIADMK cannot conduct a floor test till a final order is passed regarding the disqualification. This follows the DMK’s concern that after the disqualification the ruling faction may push through a floor test to prove its majority with lower numbers.

Faction fight

In the 234-member House, with a minimum of 117 needed to retain a majority, the AIADMK came to power with a clear majority of 134 in May 2016.

However, the party has been in the throes of a faction fight following the demise of then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa last December.

With 18 members disqualified and one seat vacant following Jayalalithaa’s death, the number of seats in the House is reduced to 215. This would mean Palaniswami will need just 108 members to retain a majority.

As of now the DMK has 89 seats while its allies the Congress and IUML hold eight and one, respectively.

Published on October 04, 2017

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