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DMK locks horns with Speaker on Governor’s order

Principal Opposition DMK on Wednesday locked horns with Speaker P Dhanapal seeking the latter to apprise the Assembly of Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao’s directions to the government over the MLAs payoff allegations, claiming that their requests have constitutional validity.

DMK locks horns with Speaker on Governor’s order
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File photo of TN Assembly

Chennai

Leader of Opposition MK Stalin moved a call attention motion in the ‘zero hour’, and demanded an explanation either from the Speaker or Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisamy over the Governor’s communique, which is deemed as a ‘message’, and requires to be shared with the members under the House Rules. Dhanapal disallowed the motion citing that the matter was being reviewed by him, and revealed that the Chief Secretary has sent a note in this regard. 

“The House Rules and Constitution which the Opposition leader quoted would not apply for matters that require the Speaker’s action and ‘strictly confidential’ like the one received from the Governor, and could not be classified as a ‘message’”, Dhanapal said and added, “matters like debate on grants for various departments and Bills would only be required to be shared with the House under the said Rules. It would be shared, however, if there was such a direction from the Governor”. 

Stalin, who joined the issue with Speaker, observed that their demand was not to ‘debate’ but only sharing of information in this regard. Deputy Leader of Opposition Durai Murugan who was up on his feet thundered that the “House is Supreme. We are entitled to know it. What is going on with the House?” he asked. 

Durai Murugan observed that the matter was no longer a ‘secret’ as it has already reached the public domain through media reports. 

“As the Chief Secretary had sent a note, the members should be kept in the loop”, the DMK leader added. Dhanapal advised the DMK members not to further precipitate the issue, and reiterated that the neither be discussed nor disclosed. 

Stalin and his party members were agitated over the speaker’s remarks and staged a walkout which was followed by both the DMK allies – Congress and IUML. As the DMK members were leaving, Dhanapal informed the House that his instructions were to act on Governor’s communique, and that there was no need to discuss it in the House. 

After being disallowed to raise the issue of payoffs to MLAs in the Assembly, the DMK had, on Saturday, petitioned the Governor demanding a fresh trust-vote. Governor, on Monday, directed the CS Girija Vaidyanathan to take appropriate action on the said memorandum.

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