Cong, DMK clash in Assembly on ''Jaya's estate'' remark

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Chennai, Apr 25 (UNI) The main Opposition AIADMK and the Congress, an ally of the DMK-led DPA, today virtually ''came to blows'' in the Tamil Nadu Assembly following a remark made by a Congress member.

It all started during the debate on the Demand for Grants for Labour Department when Mr Kovai Thangam (Cong), speaking on minimum wages for tea estate workers in Valparai, referred to the tea estate workers in Kodanadu.

The Kodanadu Estate was allegedly owned by AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa and involved in a legal wrangle over violation of norms while constructing a building inside the estate.

Mr Thangam said while welcoming the agitation announced by the AIADMK demanding higher wages for the estate workers in Valparai, he wanted to know whether the same Rs 100 per day would be paid as wages for those working in Kodanadu.

This provoked instant opposition from the AIADMK, who were incensed by the remark and demanded it should be expunged.

There were shouts and counter shouts and at one stage AIADMK members Pollachi Jayaraman and P K Sekar Babu, sitting in the back benches, menacingly advanced towards the Congress MLAs.

Members from the Treasury benches also tried to shout at the Opposition.

Nothing could be heard in the din as members of the Congress and AIADMK gesticulated at each other. Members of the PMK, also a constituent of the DPA and CLP leader D Sudarsanam and Party Whip Peter Alphonse tried to pacify both the sides.

Speaker R Avudaiyappan's repeated pleas to the Congress and the AIADMK to resume their seats, went in vain. As the situation threatened to go out of control with members virtually coming to blows, Electricity Minister Arcot N Veerasamy intervened and said the Congress member only asked whether Rs 100 would be paid as wages for the estate workers in Kodanadu.

AIADMK Whip K A Sengottaiyan said the Congress member had deliberately used the word ''Kodanadu'' with ulterior motives and demanded it should be expunged.

But the Speaker refused saying it was not an unparliamentary word.

However, the situation was normal after sometime and Mr Thangam later completed his speech.

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