AIADMK councillor’s statement condemning Centre for humiliating CM sparks row

Proceedings of Tiruchi Corporation Council touched a new low on Friday with councillors of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) engaging in fisticuffs following a political wrangle between the rival parties.

The councillors very nearly came to blows after the DMK members took strong objection to a statement made by AIADMK Ariyamangalam zone chairman J.Srinivasan thanking Chief Minister Jayalalithaa ‘on behalf of the delta farmers’ for her tireless efforts to get the Cauvery water from Karnataka. He also condemned the Prime Minister, Union government, and the DMK, which was part of the UPA government, for the ‘humiliation’ meted out to the Chief Minister at the National Development Council meeting in New Delhi on Thursday, provoking the DMK members to stage a walk-out ultimately. Trouble began soon after Mr.Srinivasan started making the statement during the zero hour of the ordinary meeting, with M.Anbazhagan, DMK councillor and former deputy mayor, registering his protest to the reference to the Cauvery issue as it did not directly concern the civic body.

As several other members of the DMK were on their feet, Mr.Srinivasan went on to read from his prepared text. Soon several DMK members, including T.Muthuselvam of the party, rushed in to crowd around his seat and attempted to stop him from making the statement. Several AIADMK councillors came out in support of Mr.Srinivasan, leading to a free for all.

As the councillors were seen pushing each other around, the chairman of Golden Rock zone, N.Manoharan, AIADMK, and Mr.Muthuselvam were engaged in fisticuffs.

Mr.Muthuselvam, whose shirt buttons were torn down in the melee, pulled down a microphone and advanced menacingly to retaliate. Saner counsel prevailed as Mr.Anbazhagan and other DMK councillors pacified Mr.Muthuselvam and pinned him down to a seat.

Mr.Anbazhagan urged Mayor A.Jaya to direct her party men to confine themselves to civic matters but she responded saying that there was nothing wrong in thanking the Chief Minister.

Mr.Srinivasan continued to read out his statement condemning the Centre over the incident at NDC meet.

Protesting the “unprecedented” practice, Mr.Anbazhagan led a walkout of his party councillors with Mr.Muthuselvam banging the exit doors on his way out. Mr.Srinivasan and other AIADMK councillors urged the Mayor to initiate disciplinary action against the DMK councillors for their unruly behaviour. Ms.Jaya assured them that action would be taken.

Earlier, the council witnessed heated exchanges between the DMK and the AIADMK benches over the police cases registered against DMK office bearers for putting up hoardings welcoming the party treasurer M.K.Stalin during his recent visit to the city.

Mr.Anbazhagan and other DMK councillors wanted to know whether the corporation officials had preferred any complaint to the police in this regard as the cases were booked on the charge that the hoardings had marred the beauty of the city.

Mr.Anbazhagan claimed that he had submitted a letter seeking permission from the civic body for putting up the hoardings and the party had also paid the requisite fee in two zones. Despite this, the cases have been registered.

Corporation Commissioner V.P.Thandapani said he had not received the letter but clarified that the permission for putting up hoardings should be obtained from the Collector after getting no objection certificates from the corporation and city police.

The DMK members wondered whether such permission has been obtained for several hoardings that have been put currently in the city and demanded uniform norms for all parties without discrimination.

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