Jaya attends House, seeks govt to quit, leads walkout

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Chennai, Feb 1: For the first time in the recent past, the Tamil Nadu Assembly was adjourned for ten minutes after pandemonium broke out following heated arguments between the AIADMK led by Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and the Treasury Benches leading to a walk out by the main Opposition Party which demanded the government's resignation as 'it had lost moral responsibility.'

It all began when Ms Jayalalithaa, who attended the House after a gap of nearly over an year, was speaking on the government's alleged soft attitude towards the proscribed LTTE leading to interruptions and several noisy scenes. Referring to the governments' intention to enact a special law to curb expression of support to the banned organisations like the LTTE for which it was prepared to constitute a team of legal experts, she wanted to know if certain Ministers were experts on such subjects.

This prompted a remark from Finance Minister and Leader of the House K Anbazhagan triggering the uproar between the Opposition and Treasury Benches.

IADMK Members, including Mr D Jayakumark, Mr Pollachi Jayaraman and P K Sekhar Babu rushed to the well of the House. The Treasury Benches also followed suit the leading to heated arguments with members gesticulating. At one stage, Information Minister Parithi Illavazhuti and Mr Jayakumar were seen engaged in a verbal duel near the Speaker's podium. Speaker R Avudaiappan's appeal to resume seats went unheeded.

Later, Mr Sekhar Babu and Mr Illamvazhuti were seen arguing. When the situation appeared to go out of control, the Speaker announced that he was adjourning the House for ten minutes and left in a huff.

When the House reassembled, the Speaker appealed for members' co-operation to run the House in a smooth manner.

Continuing her speech, Ms Jayalalithaa recalled PWD Minister Durai Murguan's announcement in the Assembly warning those supporting LTTE. She wanted to know why the government did not arrest Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) General Secretary Thol Thirumavalavan for openly organising a conference in support of the banned organisation.

The DGP issued a statement last month warning action under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Despite this, the police had allegedly given permission to Mr Thirumavalavan to hold the meet.

She said even now the government could take action against Mr Thirumavalavan under Sec 39 of the Act for expressing support to the LTTE.

It would attract a punishment of ten years imprisonment or fine or both under the law, she added.

She said amendements were brought to the Act in 2004 listing LTTE as a banned outfit. Under Sec 39 (2)(1) any support to such an organisation can attract a punishment of ten years imprisonment or fine or both. Taking a dig at the government, she claimed the DMK's was the first government to be dismissed for corruption causing yet another round of arguments between the Treasury and the Opposition.

Intervening, Mr Anbazhagan said the charges were not proved in the court, 'a fact admitted by AIADMK Founder and Former Chief Minister MGR.' He recalled the strictures passed against Ms Jayalalithaa by the Supreme Court in the TANSI Land Deal case prompting her to counter by saying in 1991 the DMK Government was dismissed for allegedly leaking defence secrets.

Intervening, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi said Ms Jayalalithaa's remarks were a blatant lie. The government was first dismissed due to protest against imposition of emergency and not for corruption.

Ms Jayalalithaa said the then Chandrasekar government in 1991 had dismissed the DMK government allegedly on the recommendations of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who was later assassinated by the LTTE. Intervening, the Chief Minister said there was no point in talking about the past. They could also talk several things, including on how the two factions of the AIADMK headed by Ms Jayalalithaa and Ms Janaki Ramachandran traded charges against each other, An angry Ms Jayalalaithaa alleged the government was ignorant of the law and lost moral responsibility to rule.

It should immediately step down. Otherwise people will throw them out, she said and staged a walkout followed by her party MLAs.


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