Opposition urge ruling AIADMK to reach out to DMK on boycott issue


Team Udayavani, Jun 1, 2018, 9:55 AM IST

Chennai: DMK allies including the Congress in Tamil Nadu today urged the state government to reach out to the main Opposition party to end its boycott of the ongoing Assembly session, while the ruling AIADMK put the ball in its archrival’s court.

The DMK had announced it would boycott the ongoing budget session of the state assembly, which started on May 29, until the Sterlite copper unit in Tuticorin was “permanently shut.” Violence had broken out during an anti-Sterlite protest in Tuticorin on May 22 and 23 which left 13 people dead. The locals were up in arms against the Vedanta Ltd unit over pollution issues.

In the Assembly, Congress MLA S Vijayadharini and another DMK ally, KM Mohammed Abubacker of IUML, besides independent legislator TTV Dhinakaran, wanted the ruling AIADMK to reach out to DMK, the main Opposition, in order to ensure it performed its democratic duties.

Congress and IUML tried to impress upon the AIADMK on the matter, saying the ruling party’s founder and late Chief Minister MG Ramachandran had once reached out to DMK President M Karunanidhi in a similar situation.

Dhinakaran appealed to Speaker P Dhanapal to take steps in this regard, saying the latter was an “experienced” man. However, the ruling AIADMK turned down the opposition plea, with Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam taking the lead.

“The Chief Minister (K Palaniswami) gave complete details on the Sterlite issue (on May 29). Adequate opportunities were given to the Opposition to speak. They (DMK) were not asked to get out but went (walked out) by themselves,” he said. Panneerselvam, also Leader of the House, said there was “no bar (on DMK) if they want to perform their democratic duties.” “They can come back (to the House),” he added.

On May 29, blaming the state government for not holding talks with the people and seeking the resignation of Chief Minister K Palaniswami, DMK Working President MK Stalin, had said his party will boycott the House proceedings till Sterlite plant was “permanently closed.” Later, he led his party colleagues in staging a walkout, raising slogans in support of the resignation of the chief minister.

Responding to the Opposition plea today, Palaniswami recalled an incident in 2006, when the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, then Leader of Opposition, single-handedly took on the ruling DMK, after all of her party MLAs were evicted en masse during a session. “She showed how a Leader of Opposition should function.

To highlight people’s issues, she spoke for over an hour amidst about 67 interventions (from Treasury benches),” he said. Recalling the chain of events on May 29, Palaniswami told the DMK allies they were aware of what happened that day, and pointed out that the main opposition party MLAs were not evicted.

He said though Congress and IUML had also staged a walkout later that day, they had nevertheless returned to the House, adding, DMK could follow suit. “There is no bar on them against performing their democratic duties,” he added. Post your comments

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