The Tamil Nadu assembly will meet for three days at Kalaivanar Arangam starting today. The decision was taken at a business advisory committee meeting led by Speaker P Dhanapal at the Secretariat.
For the first time in 10 years, Tamil Nadu’s Legislative assembly session is taking place outside the historic Fort St George in Chennai, which is often described as the seat of power.
Officials had said that the decision was taken as physical distancing cannot be achieved in the available space at Fort St George. Ahead of the assembly session, the Tamil Nadu government had directed all the legislative members to take a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to the meet.
The tests were carried out at the assembly campus and the MLA hostel. All the members, including department officials, assembly workers, security personnel and journalists among other who will be entering the assembly premises were directed to undergo testing in their areas from September 11 through the health officials in each district. The government had made arrangements in the respective areas for the same.
The House is meeting in the backdrop of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M.K. Stalin and 17 of his party MLAs moving the Madras High Court, challenging fresh breach of privilege notices to them last week for having displayed gutkha (chewing tobacco) sachets in the Assembly on July 19, 2017 in their attempt to prove that the banned substance was available across the State.
This would also be the first session since sitting legislator Ku. Ka. Selvam of Thousand Lights Assembly constituency was expelled from the DMK by Stalin.
The DMK had suspended and eventually dismissed him “for bringing disrepute to the party and violating party discipline”, days after Mr. Selvam called on BJP president J.P. Nadda and hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi.