CHENNAI Though Opposition parties — the DMDK, DMK and the Left parties — complained that they had not been given sufficient opportunity to express their views during proceedings in the State Assembly, Speaker D Jayakumar refuted the charge with data on the time utilised by members of the Opposition parties and the number of chances given to them to raise issues.
On April 27 when the CPM members had a wordy duel with the Speaker, charging that they had not been given an opportunity to express their views on a issue, the Speaker became upset and recalled what had happened to him during the previous regime.
The Speaker said he had not allotted time keeping in mind the number of members of each party. Instead he had given sufficient opportunity to all Opposition members.
Jayakumar recalled that during the previous DMK regime, he was given a seat in the last row despite the fact that he was a former minister and was allowed to raise only a few of the 5,000 questions he had listed in the period 2006-2011. Most of his questions were marked unstarred questions.
Contrary to that situation, he now gives opportunities to Opposition members. To encourage democractic debate, he gave opportunities to all members, irrespective of the strength of their party in the Assembly.
In his concluding remarks on the last day of the Budget session, the Speaker said the session had lasted for 38 days (including the Governor’s address and discussion) and the proceedings had covered 162 hours and 35 minutes.
The Speaker recalled the utmost attention and enthusiasm with which Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had attended the proceedings of the House and replied to the members. She was present in the House with the facts and attended all the sessions except for a couple of days when she was busy with the Chief Ministers’ conference in New Delhi.
He pointed out that the CM had, during the past one year, presented 57 statements under Rule 110 of the House, announcing a number of welfare schemes to various sections of the people whereas during the five years of the DMK regime only 46 statements had been made in the House under Rule 110.