In Tamil Nadu, the Assembly Speaker has disqualified 18 dissident AIADMK MLAs loyal to its sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran today.
A statement by the Assembly Secretary K.Boopathy in Chennai has said the action has been taken against them under the anti-defection law.
It further says their disqualification will be with effect from today.
The disqualification comes just a day after the O.Panneerselvam and Edappadi Palaniswamy factions of the party announced their merger.
19 dissident AIADMK MLAs had submitted letters to the state interim Governor Vidyasagar Rao on 22nd of last month withdrawing their support to chief minister Palaniswamy.
Later, one among the 19 rebel members switched over to the ruling camp, who has been spared from the axe today.
The move by the Speaker has been criticized by the opposition. The DMK, Congress, DPI and many other parties have said the action is to create majority for the Government by disqualifying the 18 MLAs.
They have said the action is not in conformity with the provisions of the anti-defection law. DMK Working President MK Stalin in his press interaction in Chennai said the anti-defection law was not applied against the O.Panneerselvam loyalist MLAs even though they voted against the Edappadi K Palaniswamy government during the last trust vote.
Meanwhile, the disqualified MLAs have decided to file a petition before the Madras High Court seeking to nullify the Speaker’s action. Mr TTV Dhinakaran told journalists in Tambaram near Chennai, they would file a petition before the court soon.
The principal opposition DMK has convened its MLAs meet to discuss about the latest political developments tomorrow evening. The state Congress MLAs will meet day after tomorrow.
Our correspondent reports that the opposition parties are expected to devise their strategy to be adopted in case the Assembly is convened any time from now.