Congress stages walk out from TN Assembly

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Chennai, Jan 29: The Congress, a constituent of the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance in Tamil Nadu, put the DMK government in an embarrassing situation by staging a walkout from the state Assembly, demanding action against those supporting the banned LTTE.

The walk out by Congress came a few minutes after the main opposition AIADMK staged a walkout from the House, dissatisfied with Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's reply on the issue. When the Congress members raised the issue during Zero hour demanding the arrest of Vidhuthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Tirumavalavan for organising a meeting and demanding the lifting of ban on LTTE, Mr Karunanidhi, quoting the Supreme Court order said a mere expression of oral support could not be a ground for arrest.

Dissatisfied with Chief Minister's reply, Congress member C Gnanasekharan said since POTA was repealed, the government could have imposed various sections of the Criminal Amendment Act and could have arrested VCK leader Tirumavalavan for his open support to LTTE.

Mr Gnanasekharan wanted to know how the government gave permission for the meeting and how LTTE leader Prabhakaran's photo was allowed to be kept in the meeting. He said police should not have given permission to the conference and wanted the government to ban VCK, a constituent of the ruling DMK and arrest Tirumavalavan for openly supporting LTTE and demanding the Centre to lift the ban on LTTE.

After completing his speech, Mr Gnanasekharan said he was staging a walkout and all Congress members followed suit, shouting slogans demanding the arrest of VCK leader Tirumavalavan.

Later, talking to reporters, Congress Whip Peter Alphonse said Congress party would not tolerate any kind of support to the banned LTTE, which had assasinated former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The LTTE was spreading arms culture in Tamil Nadu, and was posing a serious threat to the internal security of the country, he said.

The Congress severely condemns any kind of support, both tacitly and cladestinely to the banned outfit and wanted the government to take stringent action against those supporting LTTE.

''To focus this and demanding proper action against those supporting LTTE, we agitated inside the Assembly and staged a walkout,'' Mr Alphonse said.

Deputy leader of the Congress, D Yasodha said the party would not forgive LTTE for assasinating Rajiv Gandhi and that incident could not be removed from 'our' hearts even after hundred years.

He said the government should take stringent action against VCK for supporting LTTE by organising conferences hailing the banned outfit.


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