Chennai: The Assembly which met today to test the floor strength of the AIADMK government led by Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy ended up testing the concrete floor of the House, due to the violence that broke.
Demanding secret ballot, DMK legislators gheraoed Speaker P Dhanapal and raised slogans. As he refused to entertain their request, his mike was broken, chair was damaged and when field marshals tried to escort him out of the hall safe, he was pulled in by DMK members who dragged his shoulders.
The Assembly which was initially adjourned till 1 pm, was later adjourned till 3 pm, as there was no stopping for violent incidents after it met at 1 pm.
HOW IT STARTED
The special session began at 11 am and started gaining heat even as the Speaker came to his chair. MLA and former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s supporter Semmalai said that there was no security for the legislators and pointed out that he was held captive in the Koovathur Golden Bay resort.
When the Speaker told him to be seated, the DMK MLAs raised voice against it and requested the Speaker to give permission to Semmalai to speak.
In the meantime, DMK working president M K Stalin, who is the Leader of Opposition in Assembly, said that he and other DMK MLAs were treated like prisoners when they were on their way to the Assembly today and they had to walk for close to five kilometres to reach the Assembly, to which the Speaker said that necessary action would be taken.
Following this, Semmalai continued and said that the privileges of the legislators should be protected.
"I am not only talking about me but on behalf of all the legislators. MLAs should not be in anyone’s control and they should be let in their free will to vote. I was threatened and stopped from meeting the people," Semmalai added.
WHY THIS HURRY
Stalin questioned why the need to call for a floor test within 48 hours after the new government was formed. Replying to this, the Speaker said that it was Stalin who asked to convene the Assembly at the earliest.
Talking in the Assembly, Panneerselvam requested for a secret ballot to ensure that the legislators voted with free will. "Even yesterday, Coimbatore MLA Arun after escaping from the resort called me up and said that he was threatened which is why I am bringing up the topic now in the Assembly," he said.
When the MLAs are in the resort for close to fifteen days how will they know the mindset of the people, let them go and meet the people and then we can have the floor test, OPS said.
"This should definitely be a secret ballot as the MLAs’ lives may be at risk," he requested.
Stalin and Congress floor leader Ramasamy also seconded the request of OPS.
"It is true that I requested the Assembly to be convened at the earliest. However with what OPS and other MLAs are saying it becomes necessary that the MLAs are given time to meet the people," he said.
Stalin and Congress floor leader Ramasamy also seconded the request of OPS. "It is true that I requested the Assembly to be convened at the earliest. However with what OPS and other MLAs are saying it becomes necessary that the MLAs are given time to meet the people," he said.
NOW, THE VIOLENCE
As and when this conversation was happening, DMK MLA Anbazhagan who was long requesting to talk made his way to the Speaker chair and started raising slogans to postpone the floor test.
He was slowly joined by the other DMK MLAs as well who started to tear books and damage the Assembly Secretary's table and files.
Following this the Speaker's podium was thrown from the dais and as Dhanapal was trying to leave, there was a tug of war between the police and DMK MLAs.
While the security personnel were trying to take the Speaker out safely, the DMK MLAs were pulling him inside and demanded that he postponed the floor test. However the Speaker was escorted out.
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