Disqualified MLAs decide to face polls

Disqualified MLAs decide to face polls

People celebrate after the Madras High Court order. PTI/FILE

In a volte-face, the AIADMK faction, led by rebel leader T T V Dhinakaran, on Wednesday decided not to challenge the Madras High Court verdict upholding the Speaker's decision to debar them and instead face by-polls in all 18 constituencies.

"The MLAs have decided not to challenge the Madras High court verdict before the Supreme Court. They have decided to face elections," Dhinakaran told reporters in Madurai.

Read also: Chennai: Disqualified MLAs asked to vacate, clear dues

This is a U-turn by the Dhinakaran camp as the disqualified MLAs had said on Friday that they would knock at the doors of the Supreme Court to tell the world that Speaker P Dhanapal had erred in disqualifying them.

The 18 MLAs, all owing allegiance to jailed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala and her nephew Dhinakaran, were disqualified from their membership after they met the then Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and expressed no-confidence against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.

The aggrieved legislators moved the Madras High Court, which delivered a split verdict following which a third judge was appointed to hear the case afresh. The third judge, in his judgement, upheld the disqualification of the MLAs.