CHENNAI: The suspension of DMK members from the Assembly has led to allegations and counter allegations. While the AIADMK says the Opposition members are adopting a confrontationist approach and does not let the House function, the DMK responds by saying the Speaker acts in a partisan manner by favouring only the treasury benches.
But it is the common man who suffers whenever a stalemate hits the Assembly. Real issues of public that need to be highlighted both by treasury and opposition benches get lost in the loud noises from both sides. Political commentators and parties who don't have representation in the Assembly pin the blame on AIADMK and DMK for the current deadlock.
AIADMK spokesperson and former legislator Panruti S. Ramachandran told Deccan Chronicle that the Opposition DMK has only one aim when they enter the Assembly hall - to provoke the ruling party and invite trouble through their “ill-prepared speeches.” “Their allegations they are not given opportunities are baseless”, he said. However, the DMK says the Speaker acts in a partisan manner by expunging remarks made by Opposition members alone and lets the ruling party have its say in every other issue. “The Speaker should be neutral and unbiased. The government should also let the Opposition function. They should know how to treat the Opposition and allow them to raise people-centric issues,” DMK MP and spokesperson T. K. S. Elangovan said.
While the two parties reiterate their well-known stand, VCK's Ravikumar, a former legislator and thinker, says the level of the debate in the Assembly has reduced to a new low and asks both DMK and AIADMK to use the floor of the House to bring change in the state.
“Both are to be blamed. If a larger public issue is the root cause of any deadlock or a stalemate in the Assembly, then that will be welcomed. But here any stalemate occurs only because of petty reasons like calling their leader by name or naming one leader in the House,” Ravikumar said. While reminding the AIADMK of its duty to respect the Opposition, which is huge in strength, Ravikumar also asked the DMK to listen to the debates of the party leaders when it was in the opposition during 1957-1967 during the Congress government.
Political commentator Bernard D' Sami says the current stalemate was primarily because the ruling party does not know how to handle a strong Opposition since Tamil Nadu Assembly has traditionally seen a strong ruling party versus a virtually no opposition.
“Governance should be the main focus of the debate and of the government and the opposition, but if the debate is going to be focused on what is in the best interests of DMK or AIADMK, then everything will take a backseat. Such fights are avoidable and both sides should understand they have a democratic obligation to perform their duties as legislators,” D' Sami said.
Ramachandran also lampooned Opposition Leader M. K. Stalin's comments that DMK members were suspended only to prevent the party from participating in the debate on demands for grants for police department. “I think Stalin is overrating himself and he has participated in several debates.” He asked why the remaining nine DMK MLAs, including its chief M. Karunanidhi, are not mustering courage to attend the proceedings.
Responding to this criticism, Elangovan says it is not a matter of courage, but matter of attitude. “The DMK government allowed Jayalalithaa to speak for an hour in 2006. This shows the democratic approach of DMK towards the Opposition and what happened last week showed the approach of AIADMK towards the Opposition.”...