Chennai : Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal on Thursday refused to revoke the en masse suspension of DMK legislators even as the suspended members staged a protest outside the House and their colleagues inside twice staged a walkout over the issue.
Seven of the nine non-suspended DMK legislators, who were not present in the House yesterday, along with Congress and IUML members requested the Speaker to reconsider his ruling suspending the 80 DMK MLAs yesterday. Dhanapal said the matter would be taken up after Question Hour following which DMK, Congress and IUML staged a walkout in protest. They, however, resumed their seats soon.
When Dhanapal took up the issue later, Congress, DMK and IUML members reiterated their plea that the suspension be withdrawn. Explaining the reasons for suspension, the Speaker said, “They (DMK) are talking as if the action was taken wantonly. Whatever they did has been recorded in the House register (of proceedings), and is (also) video recorded. This action (suspension) was taken as there was no other option and hence there is no question of reconsidering it.”
Dhanapal said the House was being run following rules and regulations and it could be held only like that. He said DMK members were disrupting House proceedings and even making fun of him and addressing him ‘inappropriately’ and not following rules. It had become routine for DMK MLAs to disrupt proceedings, he said, adding that they did not even have the patience to listen to him.
He said Congress Legislative Party leader K R Ramasamy and others were aware of the “distress” he has undergone.
The Speaker said his only intention was to run the House smoothly. “But they were not allowing me to do so. They were not paying heed to my repeated requests,” he said, adding, he was constrained to take a decision to suspend the DMK members.
He said he cannot allow wastage of tax-payers money, and asserted there was no question of revoking the suspension. Later, DMK legislators along with MLAs of allies Congress and IUML staged a walkout for the second time.
Meanwhile, the suspended DMK members, led by Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin, staged a protest outside the House.