The Madras High Court is set to deliver the verdict in disqualification of 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs on Thursday. The verdict will decide the fate of the government, and also script the political future of the united AIADMK faction led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy, O Panneerselvam.
It will also be significant for the political existence of rebel AIADMK leader T T V Dinakaran, who won with a huge margin the bypoll from RK Nagar constituency. Thrown out of AIADMK by the ruling faction, Dinakaran now heads the party Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam. With the government technically in a minority, it could fall if the court quashes disqualification of 18 MLAs.
The DMK-led opposition alliance has 98 members, including nine Congress MLAs, in the 234-member House. Sources in the Dinakaran camp said they will remove Palaniswami and “capture the government” if the HC order quashes disqualification.
The DMK camp hopes to benefit from either way the verdict goes. ” If the disqualification is quashed, the government will fall and fresh polls will benefit DMK, if 18 MLAs are disqualified, we hope to win at least 15 of those 18 seats in bypolls. That will be enough to prove this is a minority government,” a DMK leader said.