A day after Leader of Opposition MK Stalin was evicted out of the Tamil Nadu Assembly that led to the suspension of 89 DMK MLAs for a week, the party members led by Stalin protested at the state Assembly on Thursday. They alleged that they were being denied entry into the Assembly premises. According to CNN-News 18, the DMK leaders accused Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa of being dictatorial.
Chennai: DMK MLAs protest outside Tamil Nadu Assembly after they were suspended by Speaker for 1 week yesterday pic.twitter.com/1cUcg5o8Xa
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Stalin was stopped by Assembly marshals who also locked the entry point leading to the House. After they were denied entry, the DMK MLAs, led by Stalin, sat on a dharna. DMK MLAs CVMP Ezhilarasan said the party legislators were denied access to their room inside the Secretariat which also houses the Legislative Assembly.
Meanwhile, security was stepped up in the Secretariat.
The Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Assembly ordered the en masse eviction and suspension on Wednesday after DMK members strongly protested remarks made by a ruling AIADMK member apparently ridiculing Stalin.
Speaker P Dhanapal ordered eviction of the 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.
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 'Namaku Naame' programme undertaken by the DMK Treasurer in the run up to this year's Assembly election.
During the 'Namakku Naame' programme, Stalin had extensively toured the state and interacted with people. The remarks about the programme triggered strong objection from the DMK members who wanted the Speaker to expunge them.
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 'Namakku 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 'Namakku Naamme' 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. 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.
With inputs from PTI