Chennai, April 8: Exactly a week after all MLAs of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) were evicted from the Tamil Nadu Assembly for unruly behaviour, four of the party's legislators including its top leader MK Stalin were suspended for disrupting the proceedings of the House on Monday.
The DMK was penalised as it created a ruckus at the conclusion of a discussion on inter-state water disputes. After various MLAs spoke on the Mullaiperiyar and Cauvery issues, the DMK sought to highlight the plight of farmers who depend on the Thenpennai river for irrigating their fields.
According to the party, the Karnataka government has been deliberately diverting the river's flow and consequently the farmers are not getting adequate water for irrigation.
However, Public Works Department Minister KV Ramalingam hit out at the DMK for misleading the people on such issues. The party's MLAs were incensed by his remarks. Stalin, leader of the DMK's legislature wing, led the protest.
He alongwith Thangam Thennarasu, Govi Chezhiyan and Moideen Khan rushed to the Well of the House. Speaker P Dhanapal repeatedly told the four legislators to return to their seats but they did not heed him and squatted in front of his chair. The Speaker then asked the Marshalls to forcibly remove Stalin and the other three MLAs.
Following the eviction of these legislators, state Finance Minister O Panneerselvam moved a resolution for suspending all four of them for two days. The House adopted the resolution.
This is the third time in the Budget Session of the TN Assembly that the Speaker has summoned the watch and ward staff to evict MLAs of the DMK. On Mar 27, all legislators of the party were evicted en masse as they ignored the Chair's pleas to maintain decorum.
On April 1, a similar action was taken against the MLAs when they objected strongly to Transport Minister Senthil Balaji's remarks on Stalin.