Cong MLA breaks down on Telugu school kids' language issue

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Chennai, Apr 24 (UNI) When a Congress legislator broke down in the Tamil Nadu Assembly while explaining the plight of Telugu-speaking school children, everyone knew it was not ''crocodile tears'' the politicians were known for ''shedding''.

Mr K Gopinath, representing Hosur Constituency, took everyone by surprise in the House when he turned emotional and broke down while taking part in the debate on the demand for grants for School Education Department.

The member was narrating the problems faced by the more than one lakh Telugu-speaking children in various schools in his constituency after the State Government introduced Tamil as the medium of instruction.

As the Speaker cut him short stating he was running out of time, the member pleaded to allow him to have his say saying it was an important issue, concerning the lives of more than a lakh of students and 2,500 teachers.

As the Speaker asked him to resume his seat, the member, whose mother tongue was Telugu, turned emotional and broke down before resuming his seat.

On seeing the member weeping in his seat, Speaker R Avudaiyappan said ''Mr Gopinath is weeping'' and invited him to complete his speech.

The member stood up to continue his speech, but words failed him as he continued to cry. Intervening, School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu said the government shared his concern and would do everthing to redress the issue.

Earlier, the member created a flutter when he began his speech in Telugu. When the Speaker said the member should have got his permission in advance to speak in Telugu, he switched to Tamil but not before Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S Arumugam saying the member knew Tamil very well.

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