Minister’s remark on Karunanidhi sparks protest

Local Administration Minister K.P. Munusamy’s remark on former Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi in the Assembly on Thursday sparked a protest from DMK members, and eventually led to their eviction.

Later, Speaker P. Dhanapal, who was not in the Chair when there was pandemonium, announced that those DMK members present in the day and who faced second-time eviction, stood suspended till the end of the current session. [The order would be applicable to 14 DMK members, according to a senior official in the Assembly Secretariat.]

Intervening in the debate on the motion of thanks to Governor for his address, Mr Munusamy held the former Chief Minister responsible for the current state of affairs concerning Sri Lankan Tamils.

He lashed out at him for sending his daughter and Member of Parliament Kanimozhi as part of a delegation to Sri Lanka after the end of the Eelam War in 2009. Ms Kanimozhi had also received a memento from Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

When the DMK whip R. Sakkarapani said it was during the AIADMK regime that LTTE chief Prabhakaran was declared a criminal, the Minister responded that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had never supported terrorism but it was the DMK which, on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, adopted double standards, one while in power and another during out of power. Mr Munusamy accused Mr Karunanidhi of “practising third rate politics.”

This remark prompted some DMK members including Thangam Thennarasu who rushed to the well of the House. For sometime, members of the Opposition party and the ruling party engaged in an exchange of words. Deputy Speaker Pollachi V. Jayaraman ordered eviction of the DMK members.

Later, Congress legislature party leader K. Gopinath argued that the State unit of the Congress always stood by the State government on issues concerning people of Tamil Nadu, be they Sri Lankan Tamils or Cauvery or Mullaperiyar.

Electricity Minister Natham R. Viswanathan wondered what initiatives were taken by the Congress leaders hailing from the State. Did they meet Prime Minister at any time and impress upon him to take positive action on the Cauvery issue, he asked.

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