Months after a crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha polls as well as the 22-seat state bye-polls, it appears that the AMMK has lost another supporter: MLA Prabhu. The lawmaker, representing the Kallakurichi assembly constituency met with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami as well as Deputy Chief Minister and party coordinator O Panneerselvam on Saturday. The MLA maintains that it was on the insistence of his constituents that he decided to return to the AIADMK since continued support for TTV Dhinakaran would not have benefitted the people of the recently-formed Kallakurichi district.
The two other MLAsâ€” Rathinasabapathy and Kalaiselvanâ€” who faced flak for supporting Dhinakaran have also reportedly reaffirmed their commitment to the AIADMK. The AMMK failed to make a difference in the May 2019 polls, not winning a single seat. With internal blame games dividing the party, in June, disqualified MLA and AMMK leader Thanga Tamilselvan left the party. He joined the DMK in the presence of party chief MK Stalin.
On April 26, over a week after Tamil Nadu went to polls, Tamil Nadu Law Minister C Ve Shanmugam and AIADMK Whip S Rajendran had met with Speaker P Dhanapal, seeking to disqualify the three AIADMK lawmakers. The Whip had said that he had gathered documentary evidence of the 'anti-party' activities that the MLAs had indulged in. The MLAs had been vocal in their support of TTV Dhinakaran. Following the complaint, the Speaker sought an explanation from the three ruling party MLAs over their alleged 'anti-party' activities.
This prompted the DMK to petition the Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Assembly, seeking to bring a motion of no-confidence against Speaker P Dhanapal. It was thought that if the three MLAs were disqualified, it would help the ruling AIADMK in the event of a trust vote in the Assembly, as it would have reduced the strength of the House. However, with 22-seat bye-polls complete and the results comfortably favouring the AIADMK, the DMK decided not to press ahead with the motion.
Meanwhile, the MLAs moved the Supreme Court after which it ordered an interim stay on the disqualification notice issued to the three AIADMK MLAs by the Speaker.