The ruling AIADMK has petitioned Tamil Nadu Speaker S Dhanapal to take action against three pro-DInakaran MLAs, besides rebel legislator and actor Karunas to show cause why they should not be disqualified for openly supporting breakaway leader and chief of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam T T V Dinakaran.
The party’s chief whip S Rajendran has sought action against them the rebel MLAs-- Aranthangi E Rathnasabapathi, Kallakurichi A Prabhu and Vriddhachalam V T Kalaiselvan. Rajendran told reporters that he had produced photo showing the three MLAs. He said that they were holding position in the AMMK and he expected Speaker to take legal action under the anti-defection act.
The Speaker. after studying the complaint, will issue show-cause notice to the four rebels. The Speaker had already disqualified 18 supporters of Dinakaran after their petition to the Governor against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami in September 2017. His action has been upheld by the Madras High Court.
The DMK’s plea is before the Supreme Court saying the Speaker is biased as he has not taken any action against 11 legislators belonging to the then rebel leader O Pannerselvam who defied the AIADMK whip and voted against Edappadi K Palanisami in the trust vote in February 2017. The Pannerselvam and Edappadi factions came together in September 2017 and Pannerslevam is Deputy Chief Minister.
The by-elections to fill the 18 vacancies have already been held along with the Lok Sabha polls. The EC has announced that by-elections to four more seats will be held on May 19. Aravakuruchi and Ottapidaram(SC) are among the four as they have fallen vacant following the disqualification of the sitting members after they joined the Dinakaran camp. The other seats, Sulur and Tiruparakundram have fallen vacant due to the death of sitting AIDMK members.
The AIADMK currently has 114 MLAs excluding the Speaker. On the opposition side are 88 DMK eight Cong members and one IUML. On AIADMK’s roll are Karunas and three MLAs who have won on the party’s symbol and who have since turned supporters of Dinakaran. If they are disqualified, its strength will come down to 111, against the half way of 117. The full strength of the House is 234. Once the 22 vacancies are filled, the government will collapse unless the AIADMK wins enough seats in the by-elections. Stalin has said that after the by-election, the DMK along with other opposition MLAs will bring a no-confidence motion against the Speaker to force the government out of office.