DMK woman councillor assaulted, suspended for three sessions
After Mayor S.M. Velusamy announced in the Budget session of the Council on Thursday that the Corporation would impart training to girl students to face challenging situations and ward off assaults, many AIADMK councillors pounced and assaulted DMK councillor Meena Loganathan, injuring her. Among those councillors who abused and assaulted the Ward 49 Councillor were women.
The trouble started soon after Finance and Taxation Committee Chairman R. Prabhakaran completed the Budget presentation. Ms. Loganathan rushed towards Mayor’s podium demanding postponement of the discussion on the Budget by a day to enable councillors to prepare for the debate.
She was seconding her party leader A. Nandhakumar’s demand seeking postponement. She said that if the discussion were to be held at 3.30 p.m. Thursday, there would be no time to study the 120 pages. As she started shouting to press for her demands, Mayor S.M. Velusamy asked his party councillors to shout back. He was by then leaving the podium.
This served as a signal to the AIADMK councillors who entered into an argument with Ms. Loganathan. Even as the arguments were going on, a few AIADMK councillors raised slogans against the DMK leadership. Soon others joined them.
At the exit, AIADMK councillors led by Venthamarai S. Balu (Ward 44), Town Planning Committee Chairman K.N. Senthilkumar, S. Manimeghalai (Ward 23), V. Annammal (Ward 22), E. Senthil (Ward 21), S.R. Arjunan alias Gopalakrishnan (Ward 28), E. Senthil (Ward 21), K. Rangaraj (Ward 24) and a few others pushed Ms. Loganathan even as those from the DMK and Congress tried to protect her.
The DMK councillor was heard shouting that the AIADMK councillors had no right to ask her to get out of the Council Hall. She later told reporters that a few AIADMK Councillors abused her using unparliamentary words and tried to assault her. The Police who were present there remained spectators. Congress councillor R. Gayathri, who was with Meena Loganathan, said that the AIADMK councillors’ behaviour was inconsistent with the posts they held and inhuman to say the least.
Meanwhile, AIADMK Councillors said that Ms. Loganathan had abused the AIADMK leadership. Ms. Loganathan denied the charge, though. Later, at an interaction with the reporters, Mayor Mr. Velusamy regretted the turn of events but laid the blame at Ms. Loganathan’s doorsteps. “She behaved the way she did to garner publicity and score brownie points.”
He also defended the AIADMK councillors saying that they had done nothing wrong.
Later, prior to the start of the Budget discussion, the Mayor, by way of a resolution, suspended Ms. Loganathan for the next three Council session. AIADMK Councillor Singai S. Balan sought protection for men inside the Council Hall.