Chennai: DMK and Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal were involved in yet another stand-off over the alleged horse trading of AIADMK MLAs on Wednesday, with the principal opposition party urging him to apprise the House about the state Governor's missive on the matter.
The speaker, however, declined to entertain DMK Leader MK Stalin's plea, prompting the latter to lead a walk-out of the entire opposition including Congress and IUML.
Governor Vidyasagar Rao had on Monday directed Dhanapal and Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan to take "appropriate action" on a memorandum submitted by DMK and its allies, seeking a fresh confidence vote and a probe by CBI into corruption and ED to unearth the money trail.
DMK has approached the Governor after unsuccessfully trying to raise in the assembly the issue of alleged horse trading of MLAs ahead of the 18 Feb confidence vote won by Chief Minister E Palaniswamy which surfaced through a TV channel 'sting' operation.
Stalin, Leader of the Opposition in the assembly, quoted the Constitution and House rules and urged Dhanapal to read out the "message" from the Governor.
He also wanted the chair or the chief minister to explain about the governor's letter.
The Speaker, who also cited Constitutional provisions, said he need not inform the House about the letter from Rao since it only required him to take "action."
It did not fall under the category of a "message" as contemplated by the norms, Dhanapal said.
"I only need to apprise the Governor. I will do that..it is strictly confidential," he said.
He, however, admitted receiving a communique in this regard from the Raj Bhavan and that the chief secretary too had written to him.
Dhanapal said rules requiring the Chair to apprise the House on messages from the governor covered legislative business like Demands for Grants for government departments and Bills.
DMK Deputy Leader Duraimurugan, however, said there was "no secret," in the matter and it was a "public document". Even the media had reported it.
At this point, Dhanapal told him to not "confuse," and asserted he had given appropriate explanation.
However, Duraimurugan insisted that the "House is supreme and we are entitled to know," and asked Speaker to inform about the "chief secretary's report."
Stalin joined the argument and said they did not seek a "debate" but only "information," on the matter.
With the speaker remaining firm on his stand, DMK staged a walkout led by Stalin.
Congress and the lone IUML member, both allies of DMK, joined the main opposition and trooped out of the House.
In their memorandum submitted to the governor last week, the opposition parties had urged him to take action following the "expose" by the TV channel.
Stalin had submitted to Rao a CD of visuals of the 'sting operation' aired wherein two AIADMK MLAs including S S Saravanan of Madurai South had purportedly made some claims of horse trading of the ruling party's legislators.
Stalin had sought a comprehensive probe by Central agencies including the CBI and ED and the DMK has also approached the Madras High Court on the issue.
Updated Date: Jun 21, 2017 14:40 PM