Speaker pardons DMK MLAs, punishment withdrawn

The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Friday spared seven DMK MLAs of action, including a six month suspension, for their alleged unruly behaviour during the Palaniswami government’s trust vote on February 18, following an intervention from Speaker P Dhanapal.

Acknowledging the consideration, Opposition Leader and DMK Working President MK Stalin thanked Dhanapal for recommending that the move be dropped.

DMK members S Ambeth Kumar, KS Masthan, KS Ravichandran, N Suresh Rajan, K Karthikeyan, P Murugan and Ku Ka Selvam faced a six-month suspension following recommendations of the Assembly’s Privilege Committee, which probed incidents in the House on February 18, when a special session was held for Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to prove his majority.

“It is a generous act on the part of the Speaker to request the cancel the suspension. I expressed apology for the behaviour of the DMK members even on February 18, who knowingly or unknowingly resorted to such activities,” Stalin said.

The report of the committee of privileges, which submitted its report to the Asssembly few days ago, had recommended that the salary and the perks of the seven DMK MLAs should be withheld during their suspension period.

A resolution was moved in this regard by Education Minister K A Sengottaiyan soon after the question hour.

However, Speaker said that all the seven DMK MLAs, who were involved in unruly behavior during the floor test have given their apology letter.

Dhanapal said he was not pressing for the motion. “Before the resolution is put to vote, I, an affected person, in the issue, would like to request the House, like how you all seek my permission to speak… These seven legislators called on me and submitted a letter regretting their action and apologised. They also assured that they would not indulge in such activities in the future,” he said, requesting the House to consider his plea to spare the members.