The Opposition DMK has 17 members in the 65-member council

All the Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam councillors present at Thursday’s Tiruchi Corporation Council meeting were suspended by Mayor A.Jaya for indiscipline after they raised slogans against her.

The DMK has 17 members in the 65-member council and all of them, except M. Anbazhagan, former Deputy Mayor, and M.Kumar, who did not attend the meeting, were suspended.

Three of the party councillors were later suspended for two meetings after they pulled down microphones even as an urgent meeting of the council witnessed a war of words between the DMK and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam councillors.

The trouble began after J.Srinivasan of the AIADMK read out a statement thanking Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for securing the release of Tamil fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy recently despite the “inaction” of the Centre.

While the lone Congress councillor R.Hema objected to his allegation against the Union government, G.Sathyamoorthy of the DMK attempted to trace the efforts of his party president M.Karunanidhi on the matter. However, he was shouted down by the AIADMK members. As heated words were exchanged by both sides, the Mayor left the house after ringing the bell, apparently adjourning the meeting temporarily.

Soon DMK members converged before her table and raised slogans claiming that the Mayor has “gone missing.” On her return, AIADMK members demanded stern action against the DMK members for bringing down the decorum of the house.

Ms.Jaya announced that all the DMK members who had raised slogans against her have been suspended from the meeting and asked them to leave the house. However, the DMK members stayed their ground and maintained that the Mayor had left abruptly without informing the councillors about the adjournment. Ms.Jaya maintained that she had announced that the meeting was adjourned temporarily before leaving the house and ordered the eviction of the DMK members.

As the few watch and ward staff watched helplessly, a few police personnel walked into the council hall provoking vociferous protests from the DMK members. Amidst sloganeering from both sides, some of the DMK members pulled down the microphones. Ms.Jaya later announced that DMK councillors, D.Ramamurthy, T.Muthuselvam and V.Leela, have been suspended for two meetings.

The DMK members finally relented and walked out of the house after a standoff lasting nearly 20 minutes.