What's in a name? Mention of Karunanidhi in House triggers fierce debate, DMK walk-out

Published: 26th July 2016 03:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th July 2016 06:39 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: It was a day of disruptions and noisy scenes in the State Assembly. The proceedings were stalled for around 25 minutes at the beginning and throughout the day on many occasions, during the discussion on the revised budget for 2016-17. DMK members clashed with Speaker P Dhanapal and he had a tough time in managing them. At one point, DMK members staged a walk out.

Since there was no question hour on Monday, the day started with zero hour. Leader of Opposition MK Stalin raised the issue of Andhra Pradesh government raising the height of the check dam across Palar river and the Speaker asked Stalin to be brief in his speech. DMK members objected to this and were on their feet urging the Speaker to allow him to speak. After many interruptions, peace returned, when Stalin was allowed to continue his speech.

But it was short-lived after DMK MLA EV Velu initiated the debate on the revised budget. Since the Speaker called AIADMK member K Pandiyarajan, the DMK members objected to this and asked whether he was a Minister to interfere. To this, the Speaker ruled that the members could not dictate whom he should allow to speak in the House as it was his prerogative. Following this, DMK members raised slogans and the remained noisy for some time.

Later, When AIADMK member PM Narasimhan mentioned the name of DMK president M Karunanidhi in his speech, DMK MLAs vehemently objected to it asking whether they would be also allowed to mention the name of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. To this, the Speaker ruled that as per the traditions of the House, the Chief Minister should only be addressed as ‘honourable Chief Minister’ and not by her name. Since Karunanidhi was not holding any post now and being just a member, he could be addressed as ‘honourable member Karunanidhi’. 

Responding to this, Stalin wanted the Speaker to spell out the rule of the House which forbids addressing the Chief Minister by name. Since the Speaker was firm on his ruling, Stalin led his colleagues in a walk-out. Following this, the members of Congress and IUML too staged a walk out.  When DMK member Palanivel Thiaga Rajan spoke, the Speaker called Pandiyarajan to answer his contentions. This too drew vehement opposition from DMK members.

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