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TN Speaker declines to revoke DMK MLAs’ suspension

Seven of the nine non-suspended DMK legislators, who were not present in the House on Wednesday, along with Congress and IUML members requested the Speaker to reconsider his ruling suspending the 80 DMK MLAs on Wednesday.

Dhanapal said the matter would be taken up after Question Hour following which DMK, Congress and IUML staged a walkout in protest. They, however, resumed their seats soon. When Dhanapal took up the issue later, Congress, DMK and IUML members reiterated their plea that the suspension be withdrawn.

Explaining the reasons for suspension, the Speaker said, “They (DMK) are talking as if the action was taken wantonly.

Whatever they did has been recorded in the House register (of proceedings), and is (also) video recorded. This action (suspension) was taken as there was no other option and hence there is no question of reconsidering it.”  Dhanapal said the House was being run following rules and regulations and it could be held only like that. He said DMK members were disrupting House proceedings and even making fun of him and addressing him ‘inappropriately’ and not following rules.

It had become routine for DMK MLAs to disrupt proceedings, he said, adding that they did not even have the patience to listen to him. He said Congress Legislative Party leader K R Ramasamy and others were aware of the “distress” he has undergone.

The Speaker said his only intention was to run the House smoothly. “But they were not allowing me to do so. They were not paying heed to my repeated requests,” he said, adding, he was constrained to take a decision to suspend the DMK members. He said he cannot allow wastage of taxpayers money, and asserted there was no question of revoking the suspension.

Later, DMK legislators along with MLAs of allies Congress and IUML staged a walkout for the second time. 

Meanwhile, the suspended DMK members, led by Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin, staged a protest outside the House. Speaking to reporters, Stalin said live telecast of the Assembly proceedings should be carried out like in the case of Parliament and several other legislatures. The protesting MLAs alleged that they were denied entry into the Assembly premises.

DMK MLA C V M P Ezhilarasan said party legislators were denied access to their room inside the Secretariat which also houses the Legislative Assembly.

Stalin was stopped by Assembly marshals, who also locked the entry point leading to the House. After they were denied entry, the DMK MLAs, led by Stalin, sat on a dharna.

Meanwhile, security was stepped up in the Secretariat. 

On Wednesday, the Assembly had witnessed uproarious scenes when DMK members protested remarks by a ruling AIADMK member apparently ridiculing Stalin, culminating in their en masse eviction and suspension. Dhanapal had ordered eviction of DMK members by the marshals after they stood up and insisted on expunging the remarks even after he rejected their demand and asked them to cooperate for the smooth conduct of the House.

Later, the government moved a resolution suspending the DMK members for a week which was passed by a voice vote. 
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