In a shocking move, the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal suspended 89 DMK MLAs for a week from the Assembly for continuous disruption of proceedings.
DMK members strongly protested to the remarks made by a ruling AIADMK member apparently ridiculing Leader of Opposition MK Stalin, culminating in their en masse eviction and suspension.
Speaker P Dhanapal ordered the eviction of 89 DMK members by assembly marshals after they stood up and insisted on expunging the remarks even after he rejected their demand and asked them to cooperate for the smooth conduct of the House. Later, the government moved a resolution suspending the DMK members for a week which was passed by a voice vote.
WATCH: DMK MLAs marshalled out of the Tamil Nadu assembly after speaker suspended them for one week.https://t.co/S0FNr6jc5M
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 17, 2016
Tamil Nadu speaker suspends all DMK MLAs for a week from the assembly for continuous disruption of proceedings pic.twitter.com/9OqJGdc8ZT
— ANI (@ANI_news) August 17, 2016
Trouble erupted during the debate on demands for grants for the Housing and IT departments when AIADMK member S Gunasekaran, without naming Stalin, made some remarks about the 'Nammakku Naame' programme undertaken by the DMK Treasurer in the run up to this year's assembly election. During the 'Nammakku Naame' programme, Stalin had
extensively toured the state and interacted with people.
NDTV further reported that DMK MLAs wanted the Speaker to expunge the remark from the House records. This led to arguments between the two parties in the Assembly, which forced the Speaker to suspend the MLAs.
Dhanapal, however, said the MLA had not made any pointed reference to anyone and therefore there was no need to expunge the remarks.
DMK Deputy Leader Durai Murugan said 'Nammakku Naame' was an initiative of Stalin and therefore the remarks refer only to him and sought their expunction.
At one point, Stalin himself rose and said he was proud that 'Nammakku Naame' had featured in an assembly debate. He
also made some remarks which were later expunged by the Speaker. Following this, the DMK members stood up and opposed the Speaker's action even as Dhanapal asked them to cooperate in the smooth conduct of the House.
Since the DMK members did not heed his repeated pleas, he summoned the marshals to evict the agitating MLAs. Stalin, who was physically removed, staged a brief sit-in before being finally taken out of the House.
The Speaker later said he had to resort to such an action as the DMK members did not heed his pleas for cooperation.
Leader of the House and Finance Minister O Panneerselvam then moved a resolution for the suspension of the DMK members for a week, which was passed by a voice vote in the AIADMK-dominated House.
Speaking to NDTV, Manu Raj Sundaram of the DMK blamed TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa of blocking an alternate view in the state and called this incident an "orchestrated ploy" to make sure there is an absence of DMK representation in the Assembly when Jayalalithaa is set to talk about the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. "I have very little hope that she will mend her ways," he said.
Talking to CNN-News18, AIADMK's CR Saraswathi said that the way DMK MLAs behave was not befitting of leaders, and that from the day the Assembly started, "DMK MLAs have come only to cause confusion. Stalin must first control his MLAs," she said.
With inputs from PTI