Chennai: The violence and police firing in the southern coastal town of Thoothukudi resulting in the death of 13 persons, rocked the Assembly on Tuesday with the Opposition DMK demanding an adjournment to discuss the issue.
However, Speaker P. Dhanapal, who managed to avert a total bedlam in the Assembly, dissuaded the adjournment motion, but took up a special call attention motion moved by three legislators Srivaikundam (in Thoothukudi district) legislator S. P. Shanmuganathan (AIADMK), Nagapattinam MLA Thamimun Ansari and R. K. Nagar MLA and AMMK leader T. T. V. Dhinakaran, on same issue. He convinced the DMK to speak on the subject and assured that he would give them an opportunity to raise the subject later.
Immediately after the question hour, leader of the Opposition DMK M. K. Stalin, who came to the Assembly, clad in black shirt, flayed the government for issuing an order for shutting Vedanta group’s copper plant in Thoothukudi, and remarked, “issuing a GO (on Monday) and sealing the factory, is an eye wash and a drama. Through this, you have signalled the Sterlite management to approach the court for reopening the plant.”
The move was similar to what happened in 2013 over the issue, he added. Blaming the state government for not holding talks with the protesters, the DMK working president said his party would boycott the rest of the session till the Chief Minister tendered his resignation and the plant was “permanently closed.” He led his party colleagues in staging a walkout. The DMK men who were all clad in black shirts and women members in black sarees, trouped out of the House shouting slogans seeking the resignation of the Chief Minister.
Congress also sought the resignation of the CM. The Congress members, wearing black badges, sat through Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s reply for an hour and walked out, saying they did not get the answer they expected from the government. After the CM’s address, Congress Legislature party leader K. R. Ramasamy asked if the “incidents,” an apparent reference to the police firing and deaths, were “right or wrong” and added they expected an answer for it. He said the probe into the incidents should be done properly or must be transferred to the CBI. Both DMK and its ally Congress demanded withdrawal of all cases and release of those arrested.
Earlier, moving the motion, Srivaikundam legislator S. P. Shanmuganathan hailed the TN government for ordering the permanent closure of Sterlite plant and said the Thoothukudi residents celebrated it by firing crackers. “Peace is regaining due to government’s efforts,” he added.
Anticipating trouble, the police had deployed over 1,000 personnel on the stretch from War Memorial to RBI office....