CHENNAI: The privileges committee of the State Assembly on Monday issued notices to 21 DMK MLAs, including Leader of Opposition M K Stalin, for bringing gutkha, a banned tobacco product, into the House on July 19 during the budget session. They have been asked to send their response in a week.
Stalin saw in it a conspiracy to reduce the number of MLAs in the House at a time when the Edappadi K Palaniswami government has been facing questions about the numbers on its side.
“We will face it legally. After we exposed the illegal sale of gutkha, police arrested many and lodged some of them under the Goondas Act. Even on Monday, gutkha worth Rs 10 lakh has been seized. So, the government wants to take it out on us for bringing out the truth.”
Apart from Stalin, notices have been issued to J Anbazhagan, P Ranganathan, Sabha Rajendran, S Thangapandian, P K Sekar Babu, Kovi Chezhiyan, K K Selvam, S Pugazhendi, S Sudarsanam, A R R Srinivasan, P Sivakumar alias Thayagam Kavi, K P P Sami, P Karthikeyan, N Karthik, PNB Inbasekaran, KS Ravichandran, R D Arasu and S Ambedkumar.
The meeting was not attended by the three MLAs supporting T T V Dhinakaran - T A Elumalai, R T Thangadurai and S T K Jakkaiyan. “We did not do anything wrong. We did not bring explosives or lethal weapons. There is a precedent in the Tamil Nadu Assembly when illicit liquor packet was shown inside the House once,” one of the DMK MLAs told Express.