Millennium Post

Gutkha scam: DMK stages walkout

Opposition DMK today staged a walkout in the Tamil Nadu Assembly after Speaker P Dhanapal declined permission to raise the issue of alleged payment of bribes to a Tamil Nadu minister and officials to facilitate sale of banned gutkha.
When DMK Deputy Leader Durai Murugan sought permission to raise the matter, the speaker did not allow it, saying the matter had been debated already and that Chief Minister K Palaniswami had responded on the matter.
He recalled that the chief minister had last week clarified that a probe was on in the matter, when Leader of Opposition M K Stalin raised the issue in the House.
However, DMK insisted on the matter being discussed today but the speaker was firm in not allowing it, repeatedly saying the issue has been debated already.
With the speaker not budging, Duraimurugan led his partymen out of the House. The main opposition, however, returned soon to participate in the proceedings.
The issue had surfaced recently after a media report claimed that the IT department had seized documents detailing alleged payment of bribes during a search of premises of a gutkha manufacturer last year.
When DMK raised the issue last week, Palaniswami had said the matter was being probed by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption.
Stalin had sought a probe by CBI and removal of the minister in question. He, however, did not mention the minister's name.

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