18 disqualified Indian lawmakers approach court to disqualification

NEW DELHI, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Eighteen lawmakers from the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Khazagham (AIADMK) in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu who were disqualified by Speaker P Dhanapal on Tuesday approached court to challenge their disqualification, officials said.

    The case is likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday.

   "Today the counsel of disqualified legislators approached Madras High court seeking to nullify their disqualification," an official said. "The court will take up the matter for hearing tomorrow."

    The disqualified lawmakers seen as dissidents in AIADMK in their letter to the state's Governor have expressed their loss of trust in incumbent Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.

    The state's speaker described the move by lawmakers loyal to the sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran as defection and subsequently disqualified them from the lawmaking body.

    The 18 dissident lawmakers have neither quit AIADMK nor joined any other political party.

    Following death of AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa last year, the party witnessed factionalism. Last week two factions led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his predecessor O Panneerselvam unified after months of confrontation.   Enditem

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