Transport Minister Senthil Balaji’s remarks that DMK leader M.K. Stalin had no locus standi to level charges of irregularities in his department led to a war of words between the ruling party and the DMK members. The DMK members were evicted from the House on a direction from Speaker P. Dhanpal.
The Speaker also suspended DMK members J. Anbazhagan and S.S. Sivasankar for two days for flouting rules of the House.
Mr. Balaji was responding to allegations of irregularities in the transport department in awarding contract for GPS-driven ticketing systems.
“If asked whether Mr. Stalin has the right to level these allegations, we can say he certainly does not,” he said, evoking strong protest from the DMK members who immediately rushed towards the Speaker. They demanded expunction of the Minister’s remarks. Mr. Sivasankar and Mr. Anbazhagan entered into a direct argument with the Speaker and refused to take their seats despite repeated warnings.
Speaker Dhanapal ordered their eviction and directed the watch and ward staff not to allow them to raise slogans on the corridors of the Assembly.
Mr. Balaji said though Mr. Stalin had cited a newspaper report to blame the government, the DMK government in the past refused permission to AIADMK member Senthamizhan to quote a newspaper report.
Earlier, the Speaker removed a remark made by Mr. Stalin after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa objected to it. “He has already assumed something. Then what is the need for clarification. So his remarks should be removed,” she said.
The Chief Minster also made it clear that no debate would be allowed on an announcement made under rule 110 of the House.
She was responding to DMK deputy leader Duraimurugan who sought to make a point on the announcement made by the Chief Minister under rule 110.
“In the past no one would be allowed to speak on the subject. But some members wanted to express their appreciation and happiness and they are allowed,” she said.
She also explained the practice of allowing a member to thank or appreciate a government for a 110 announcement was introduced during the DMK rule. “PMK leader G.K. Mani was allowed to speak during the DMK rule,” she said.