Speaker Appavu sticks by his decision not to expunge remarks on Kumbakonam Mahamaham stampede

Earlier, Opposition leader Edappadi K. Palaniswami had requested the M. Appavu to expunge Congress floor leader K. Selvaperunthagai’s remarks

April 29, 2022 12:43 am | Updated 12:43 am IST - CHENNAI

Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Speaker M. Appavu on Thursday reiterated his decision rejecting the AIADMK’s request to expunge certain remarks made by the Congress floor leader K. Selvaperunthagai regarding the stampede during the Mahamaham festival in Kumbakonam in February 1992, in which former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her aide V.K. Sasikala participated.

A day after the AIADMK members were en masse evicted from the House, Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K. Palaniswami repeated the request to expunge the remarks made by the Congress MLA, charging that he “deliberately made premeditated and defamatory comments” against the AIADMK in the House and it was not fair on the party.

Questioning the need for recalling an event which happened decades ago, Mr. Palaniswami said it should not become a precedent and reiterated his request to expunge Mr. Selvaperunthagai’s comment. However, the Chair maintained his ruling over the issue was final and that the Congress MLA had not said anything that was inappropriate.

Minister for Higher Education K. Ponmudy cited multiple occasions, during the erstwhile AIADMK regime, where then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa justified her Council of Ministers’ contentious comments against former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi in the floor of the House.

He said former Ministers D. Jayakumar, C. Vijayabaskar, R. Kamaraj and B. Valarmathi, and former Deputy Speaker Pollachi V. Jayaraman made controversial comments directed at Karunanidhi “only to get high positions” in the AIADMK government. However, their remarks were not expunged despite pleas by the DMK, he added.

Leader of the House Duraimurugan intervened and said, “Let bygones be bygones. These comments are not of any use to the country and the people.” Mr. Karunanidhi said he had let the comments against him be part of Assembly records so that the later generation would judge the reputation of parties making such comments, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin recalled.

The Speaker said he stood by the ruling he delivered on Wednesday, rejecting the AIADMK’s request to expunge Mr. Selvaperunthagai’s comments.

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