New Delhi: The Madras High Court verdict on Thursday has yet again brought Tamil Nadu politics back in the news.  

The verdict was watched closely in political circles in the state and at the national stage since it will now decide the future course of politics in Tamil Nadu. 

The 18 disqualified MLAs are said to be loyal to the sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran, who has now formed his own party — the AMMK. Dinakaran is the nephew of VK Sasikala, who was very close to Jayalalithaa and took control of the party. 

She then had Dinakaran appointed as the party’s deputy general secretary. Due to infighting within a few months,  Dinakaran started his own party.

Facing the verdict bravely, Dinakaran refusing to term it a "setback" said it's an "experience". "The court judgment is not going to deter us. The verdict will only bring our party and MLAs together. We will face the future with more force," said Dinakaran.

With the MLA’s getting disqualified, the EPS government will now face a floor test. 

Who are the MLAs

The disqualified MLAs include: S Thangatamilselvan (Andipatti), R Murugan (Harur), S Mariappan Kennedy (Manamadurai), K Kadirkamu (Periyakulam), Jayanthi Padmanabhan (Gudiyattam), P Palaniappan (Pappireddypatti), V Senthil Balaji (Aravakurichi), S Muthiah (Paramakudi), P Vetrivel (Perambur), NG Pathiban (Sholingur), M Kodandapani (Tiruporur), TA Elumalai (Poonamallee), M Rengasamy (Thanjavur), R Thangadurai (Nilakottai), R Balasubramani (Ambur), SG Subramanian (Sattur), R Sundaraj (Ottapidaram) and Uma Maheswari (Vilathikulam).

Four more MLAs who contested on the AIADMK ticket have also pledged their support to TTV Dinakaran. One of them, Karunas, had sent a notice to the secretary of the Tamil Nadu State Legislative Assembly, seeking the removal of Speaker P Dhanapal. 

Now what?

With the verdict upholding the disqualification, by-elections are all set to happen on all the seats that would be vacant. This will be a big test for the AIADMK government, especially after the demise of J Jayalalithaa in December 2016. 

Reacting to the verdict, senior AIADMK ministers said it is a matter of celebration. Meanwhile, CM Edappaadi K Palaniswami said that if the Election Commission decides to conduct by-elections in these seats based on the court's verdict, AIADMK will contest and win in all of them.

“We will contest in all 18 constituencies and we will win. We are ready to face general elections also as we are the third largest party in the Parliament but this verdict does not have a bearing on the general elections,” Palaniswami said.