On the last day of an eventful session on Friday, the State Assembly witnessed dramatic scenes marked by shouting, sloganeering, protests against the government and the Chair, and tearing up of a Bill draft on scrapping direct election to chiefs of local bodies, which the government had moved.
The angry protest marked the culmination of an exchange between Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and M K Stalin earlier in the day. Trouble began in the morning session when Stalin sought to know the status of a police housing project that was announced by the government.
The Chief Minister, during her reply, said the DMK did not have “the competency” to seek an update as it was the DMK leader M. Karunanidhi who, as Chief Minister in 1989, had scrapped the Tamil Nadu Police Housing Corporation. The remark led to protest from the opposition benches.
Remaining nonchalant despite repeated interruptions from the opposition benches, she said it was the DMK president and former chief minister M Karunanidhi, who, in 1989, disbanded the Tamil Nadu Police Housing Corporation established in 1980 by the late chief minister M G Ramachandran.
“It was restored when I became Chief Minister in 1991 and began the construction of thousands of houses for the cops. The DMK does not have the locus standi to raise the issue,” charged Jayalalithaa.
A furore followed the verbal duel between the two leaders as the DMK members stood up and raised slogans against the ruling party and Speaker P Dhanapal for well over an hour. The AIADMK members also shouted back for a while.