A Congress MLA was evicted from the Tamil Nadu assembly on Tuesday, after she reportedly objected to remarks made by Speaker P Dhanapal during zero hour. When Congress legislature party leader KR Ramasamy tried to raise the matter following her eviction, Dhanapal told him not to divert the issue, causing Congress MLAs to stage a walkout.
According to Vilavancode MLA Vijayadharani, she had submitted a call attention motion both on Monday and Tuesday to bring up the matter of compensation for deaths due to short circuits in her district. Following the question hour, she confirmed with Electricity Minister P. Thangamani if he was ready with an answer to her questions on the subject before alerting the Speaker. When the minister replied in the affirmative, she went ahead and approached the Speaker. Dhanapal however allegedly refused to let her bring up the matter and then went on to claim that she had a 'personal deal' with the Minister.
"The Speaker openly said that the minister and I can have a 'personal deal' outside and the that the House cannot be party to that," the MLA told TNM. "How can a Speaker of a state assembly even talk like this. I was almost in tears. He then went on to say I can't bring up the matter even though it was zero hour," she alleges.
According to the legislator, it was common for the Speaker to not allow members of other parties to talk. The Speaker reportedly said she had given the notice only at 9.40 am and it could not be taken up immediately. But the MLA refused to take her chair and demanded that the matter be addressed as the Minister was ready with the answer.
"We have to also see if the concerned authority can give the necessary answer. That is also important right? Other MLAs bring up issues without any permission but I had already given notice to the House and was still not allowed to address a matter concern regarding my constituency " says the legislator. "If women leaders in the Assembly are subjected to such statements then imagine the plight of the women on the roads. If the ruling party has any regard for women, they should remover Speaker Dhanapal immediately," she demanded.
The Speaker meanwhile expunged remarks made by the MLA and claimed that she spoke in an intimidating fashion.
"You saw her behaviour, it is condemnable. I had no other choice. So far, I have not ordered the eviction of any woman member of the House," said Dhanapal.
As the Assembly speaker he claimed he alone can decide what issue is taken up and that even the Ministers had no say over it.