Chennai: In a major blow to ousted AIADMK deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran, Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal on Monday disqualified 18 MLAs.
They were loyal to sidelined deputy general secretary of the party, Dhinakaran.
The rebel legislators were disqualified under the anti-defection law.
According to sources, the speaker has also taken action against 18 rebel legislators of the AIADMK. The rebel MLAs, loyal to Dhinakaran, had been demanding the removal of EK Palaniswami as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
With the disqualification of the 18 MLAs, the strength of AIADMK has come down to 116 (including the speaker). The DMK has 89 members, the Congress has eight MLAs and the IUML has one member. The assembly had 234 elected members, with RK Nagar seat which former chief minister J Jayalalithaa represented remaining vacant.
However, there are 19 seats vacant now. This means the assembly has only 215 elected members. The government needs only 108 votes to prove its majority in the assembly now in case of floor test.
Worth mentioning, the Madras High Court had then ordered that no floor test be conducted in State Assembly till September 20.