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Madras high court ruling on 18 MLAs’ fate may put Tamil Nadu politics in a flux | Chennai News

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CHENNAI: The Madras high court will pronounce the verdict in the 18 legislators’ disqualification case on Thursday, ending almost five months of wait after the judgment was reserved. The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar is likely to give the judgment around 1pm.

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The verdict would throw up several possibilities. If the MLAs lose the case, the government would stay. Its vulnerability will, however, be exposed in the subsequent byelections to the 18 assembly segments. If the MLAs win the case and vote against the government, it could fall. In the 234-member assembly, if all the members vote, the government would need 117 votes (excluding the speaker) for a simple majority. That is four more than its current tally of 113 MLAs.

Indicating how the game could be played out if they win the case, rebel leader Thangatamilselvan told TOI that his intention is not to pull down “Amma’s government”, but to get what is due to them.

‘With much to lose, MLAs will support govt’

A majority of rebels appear to be keen on just driving a hard bargain with chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. The Centre, too, doesn’t appear to be keen on destabilising the government.

Since the disqualification, the power matrix has changed in the rebel camp. Many among the 18 MLAs have been murmuring about T T V Dhinakaran’s authoritarian way of functioning. V Dhivaharan, another power centre in the Mannargudi family, has revolted against Dhinakaran. None of the rebels are confident of winning another election if they pull down the government. “Like us, they too know their weakness. When there is nothing to gain and much to lose, the rebel MLAs would come around and support the government,” said a senior minister.

DMK president M Karunanidhi has not been attending the assembly proceedings for more than a year owing to ill health, but DMK spokesman T K S Elangovan told
TOI that if the situation demands, Karunanidhi would be brought to the assembly to cast vote”.

Updated: June 14, 2018 — 7:35 am

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