As many as 18 Tamil Nadu legislators of the AIADMK, who are loyal to the sidelined deputy general secretary of the party, TTV Dhinakaran, have been disqualified by the Assembly Speaker.
The MLAs have been disqualified with effect from Monday, under 1986 Tamil Nadu Assembly Members party defection law.
The legislators had withdrawn support to Chief Minister E Palaniswami after the OPS and EPS faction decided to merger earlier.
The development comes just two days before a high court deadline for a floor test by chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami.
The Palaniswami government claims support of 114 MLAs, who had attended a general council meeting that ousted jailed leader Sasikala and Dinakaran from party posts.
A senior MLA supporting Dinakaran, P Vetrivel, said the order was patently illegal and “we will challenge this in the court.”