Chennai: Adding a fresh twist to the ongoing infighting in Tamil Nadu's ruling party AIADMK, the Madras High Court on Tuesday allowed the plea of 18 disqualified AIADMK MLAs for urgent hearing on Wednesday.
The High Court order came a day after the rebel AIADMK MLAs backing sacked party deputy general secretary TTV Dhinakaran were disqualified by the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker, P Dhanpal.
These MLAs were disqualified under 1986 Tamil Nadu Assembly Members party defection law, the Speaker said in his order.
Thanga Tamilselvan, Senthil Balaji, P Vetrivel and K Mariappan are among those who have been disqualified.
The rebel MLAs, loyal to Dhinakaran, had been demanding the removal of EK Palaniswami as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Dhinakaran had earlier moved the Madras High Court amid apprehensions about possible disqualification of the ruling AIADMK MLAs backing him by the Speaker.
The Madras High Court had then ordered that no floor test be conducted in State Assembly till September 20.
Dhinakaran had last week warned that he will throw the incumbent K Palaniswami-led government in Tamil Nadu after the ruling AIADMK General Council removed him and his aunt VK Sasikala from top positions in the party.
''Most of the ministers are scared that they will lose elections and that's why they are accusing us of conniving with the DMK,'' TTV Dhinakaran said while reacting to the developments.
TTV Dinakaran also challenged his rivals to hold fresh elections if they felt that they enjoyed popular support.
''You (EPS-OPS) claim that you have support of party workers, so if you have guts let us face fresh elections,'' TTV Dhinkaran said on the crucial AIADMK meet.
''Now, I will ensure that this government (Tamil Nadu) is thrown out of power,'' Dhinkaran warned, toughening his stand on the move to curtail his powers by the two united factions of the ruling party.
The reactions from Dhinakaran came shortly after the AIADMK cancelled the appointment of jailed VK Sasikala as party General Secretary.
Dinakaran's appointment as Deputy General Secretary of AIADMK also stands cancelled, said RB Udaykumar, a senior party leader.
The decision was announced at the AIADMK party's general council meet held today.
Sasikala was appointed as General Secretary last December following the death of party supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
Sasikala had appointed Dhinakaran as Deputy General Secretary before going to jail.
Importantly, the AIADMK general council also declared late J Jayalaithaa as the party's ''eternal general secretary''.
The general council also resolved to restore all those who were party office bearers appointed by Jayalalithaa. They will continue to hold office now, it said.
The council also nullified the decisions taken by Dhinakaran.
The council also ratified the recent merger of the two factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.