Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) members in Tamil Nadu Assembly on Tuesday were evicted en masse for the fourth time in the ongoing budget session, thus attracting a House rule that barred them from attending the rest of the session, slated to end on August 12.
Soon after ordering the eviction of the DMK members who stormed into the Well of the House protesting certain remarks by a minister, Speaker P Dhanapal said their intent was to disrupt the proceedings and bring disrepute to the assembly. He then ruled that since Tuesday's eviction being the fourth in the current session, which began on July 10, as per Rule 120 of the House they cannot attend the rest of the session.
Earlier, the House witnessed noisy scenes after DMK members stormed into the well and stood before the Speaker's podium, raising slogans against certain remarks by the Revenue Minister R B Udyakumar while replying to a call attention notice on the situation arising out of drought conditions in parts of the state and the hardship caused to farmers.
Despite pleas by the Chair and also leader of the House and Finance Minister O Panneerselvam, the agitated DMK members led by their floor leader M K Stalin continued their protest, prompting the Speaker to call in the marshalls to evict them.
Dhanapal then announced that "According to rule 120 of the Tamil Nadu Assembly, a member cannot participate in the proceedings if he is evicted more than twice (in the same session). However, I allowed them to attend the House to discharge their democratic duties".
Manidhaneya Makkal Katchi and Puthiya Thamizhagam members staged a walk out protesting the eviction of DMK members.
"Despite multiple attempts to pacify them, DMK members used unparliamentary words and made undesirable gestures in front of the Speaker and hence they had to be evicted," Panneerselvam said defending the Chair's ruling.
CPI (M) leaders Bala Bharathi and K Balakrishnan too objected to the eviction. Balakrishnan said, "If only the Minister had stuck to the subject, while replying to the call attention motion, this issue wouldn't have risen."
Panneerselvam said, "If the DMK members had some problem with the remarks made by the Minister, one of them could have raised the issue with the Speaker and not all should gather in front of him this way."
The call attention notice was given by A Lazer of CPI-M, S Gunasekaran (CPI), E V Velu (DMK), MMK's M H Jawahirullah, DMDK's S SenthilKumar, Congress' N R Rengarajan and Puthiya Thamizhagam's K Krishnasamy.