Special Correspondent

Dissatisfied with Chief Minister's reply to a question on Vaiko's speech

  • Congress seeks stringent action against Vaiko
  • MDMK, AIADMK, DPI also walk out

    CHENNAI: All Congress legislators on Tuesday walked out of the Assembly after a reply by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi to a calling attention motion was not to their satisfaction. They were closeted in the room of their legislature party leader, D. Sudarsanam for about 15 minutes and were seen discussing the next course of action. They later returned to the House.

    Earlier, Congress Whip Peter Alphonse, urging the Government to take note of the speech by the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko on Monday, asked if it would allow Mr. Vaiko to air such views.

    Alphonse's stand

    Mr. Alphonse said that Mr. Vaiko had stated that Tamil Nadu would become another Kashmir and also praised the LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran.

    He also justified the speech of his partyman, Manimaran, who was arrested a few days earlier. The Congress member wanted the government to put an end to such secessionist and divisive speeches, which could influence youth.

    Chief Minister's clarification

    The Chief Minister, appreciating the sentiments expressed by the member, said what Mr. Vaiko had stated could be interpreted as a caution, meaning , "don't create a Kashmir here."

    If his statement was looked at negatively, it could be seen as a call to create a Kashmir here. One should not attach too much significance to the speech and there was nothing to get too agitated about, he said.

    Endorses Centre's stand

    The State Government was with the Centre on this issue and would continue to support the decisions taken by the Centre, he added.

    A few minutes later all Congress members trooped out, without declaring a walkout.

    Arcot N. Veerasamy and Parithi Ilamvazhuthi were among the Ministers who met the MLAs and persuaded them to come back.

    When they came back, Mr. Sudarsanam said the Chief Minister's reply was not "very satisfactory" and demanded stringent action against Mr. Vaiko.

    Mr. Karunanidhi assured them that the law would take its own course against whoever spoke in a manner that posed a challenge to the unity and integrity of the country.

    Mr. Sudarsanam thanked Mr.Karunanidhi for the explanation and said that he had full faith in him.

    "I regret that you did not have full faith in me for a few moments in between," Mr. Karunanidhi retorted.

    In the absence of M. Kannappan (MDMK treasurer and leader of the party in the House), the other four members of the party were seen standing after Mr. Peter Alphonse completed his speech.

    Chance to reply `denied'

    They staged a walkout since they were not given a chance to reply to the allegations against Mr. Vaiko.

    AIADMK Whip K.A. Sengottaiyan said that his party too was staging a walkout protesting the denial of chance to the MDMK members to express their views.

    The two members of the DPI also walked out.

    All of them returned after a short while.

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