Members of the DMK and the DMDK on Monday walked out of the Assembly for different reasons.

While the DMK wanted the deletion of certain remarks made by Housing Minister R. Vaithilingam, DMDK members demanded more time to express their views.

Soon after the question hour, DMK floor leader M. K. Stalin demanded that a remark made by Mr. Vaithilingam last week in the Assembly be deleted from the records as he had given the impression that former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had commented that the nutritious noon meal scheme made beggars of the people.. many a beggar. This was the comment of Mr Vaithilingam. The Minister made the comment during the tabling of social welfare demands in the Assembly last week. However, Mr Stalin wanted the remarks of the Minister to be deleted from the Assembly records.

Replying to this, Mr Vaithilingam read out from old Assembly records to contend that the former DMK MLA Rehman Khan had stated in 1983 that the noon-meal scheme introduced by the Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran, turned many people into beggars and teachers into cooks. Mr Vaithilingam said if this was the view put forth by one of the party MLAs, it should be construed as the party leader's view also.

Following this, the Speaker P. Dhanapal said the Minister had shown proof for his comments.

Mr. Stalin demanded that he should be allowed to explain the issue. When he was denied permission, the entire contingent of DMK members staged a walkout.

Later, DMDK members wanted the Speaker’s permission to raise an issue, but the Chair did not oblige.

Finance Minister O. Paneerselvam said the DMDK members were not allowing the Assembly to function properly. As an opposition party, they were indulging in walkouts, creating unnecessary problems and at times forcing the ruling party to evict them.

The DMDK members wanted to give a reply to this accusation. As they were not allowed to speak, they walked out.

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