The Madurai Corporation Council meeting on Thursday witnessed acrimonious scenes with councillors breaking a microphone and throwing papers, plastic name boards and a water bottle during a discussion over the recent case against Tamil magazine, ‘Junior Vikatan.'
Accusing the ruling party of trying to “stifle” the voice of the media, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader in the council P. Salaimuthu referred to the ruling partymen pasting posters in the city against the magazine that had published a news item against them.
Even as he was speaking, a few Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) councillors sprang up shouting at the Opposition party leader. They also pulled out a few papers that listed several cases the previous AIADMK government had slapped on various media organisations.
Two DMK members – R. Arunkumar and M. Kannan – walked towards the AIADMK councillors and started throwing the papers at them. The AIADMK members retaliated in the same manner. Suddenly, the situation turned worse and plastic name boards of parties and a water bottle were hurled.
One of the councillors broke the microphone in the MLAs' enclosure.
Amidst the din, the DMK councillors sought action against AIADMK councillor K. Rajapandian, complaining that he had brandished a footwear at them. Describing it an “improper” behaviour, Mayor G. Thenmozhi said she was suspending him from the day's proceeding and asked the council watch and ward staff to remove him. Mr. Rajapandian said that he could not sit silently when the ruling partymen threw boards and water bottles at his party colleagues.
However, the AIADMK members walked out of the council in protest. Later, Communist Party of India (Marxist) members staged a walkout over the same issue. Party councillor M. Ganesan complained that he was hurt in the face when a miscued plastic board fell on him.
AIADMK members, who returned to the hall, demanded action against DMK member M. Kannan for having broken the microphone. However, no action was taken and the AIADMK members walked out in protest once again. Corporation Council secretary A. Devadoss said it was not proper on the part of the AIADMK to frequently walk out of the council.