AIADMK crisis: In a massive setback for Edappadi K. Palaniswami-O Panneerselvam faction, Madras High Court today extended stay order on floor test in Tamil Nadu Assembly until further orders, according to reports. This comes after eight of the 18 pro-Dhinakaran MLAs disqualified by the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker yesterday had moved the Madras High Court challenging the action against them under the anti-defection law. 10 more MLAs, who are backing TTV Dhinakaran, have also filed fresh pleas. The order comes as a relief for TTV Dinakaran.
Earlier in the day, senior counsel P R Raman made a mention before Justice M Duraiswamy and sought urgent hearing of the matter. The Judge agreed to hear the petitions on Wednesday, if filed. The Judge is already hearing a petition by DMK Working President M K Stalin seeking a direction to the state Governor to order a floor test for the Palaniswami government in view of the revolt by pro-Dhinakaran MLAs. Justice Duraiswami had on September 14 ordered no floor test be conducted in the assembly till September 20, when the petition will come up for resumed hearing. On Tuesday, counsel Raman contended that the Constitutional rights of the 18 MLAs to cast their votes in case of a floor test would be greatly affected if their pleas were not heard on an urgent basis. Agreeing to hear the pleas on Wednesday, the judge had directed them to file proper petitions.
With the disqualification of the 18 MLAs, the 234-member assembly has only 215 elected members with one seat being vacant already. The government now needs only 108 votes to prove its majority in the assembly now in case of a floor test.
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The Madras High Court yesterday had restrained the police from arresting AIADMK rebel leader TTV Dhinakaran in connection with a defamation case filed against him by a party MP, who is supporting Chief Minister K Palaniswami. In an interim order, Justice S S Sundar of Madurai bench also barred the police from arresting actor and AIADMK functionary Senthil, cited as a co-accused in the case, and posted the matter to October 4 for further hearing.