The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly session began on a stormy note on Tuesday with the main Opposition DMK boycotting the proceedings, ignoring repeated appeals by the Governor Banwarilal Purohit before his customary address.
The DMK also announced boycott of the entire session to protest against the Governor defending corrupt activities of Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and his Ministers and for his inaction on the release of the seven convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case despite a resolution passed by the Cabinet.
After an argument with the Governor, Leader of Opposition M.K. Stalin led the walkout by DMK and other alliance partners.
As soon as the session began and the Governor stood to deliver his address, Stalin was on his feet to raise certain issues. When he was not allowed to speak, all the Opposition members stood in solidarity with him.
Irked over the interruptions, Purohit reminded Stalin that this is the last session of the Assembly before the end of its term and advised him to take full advantage.
“This is the last session of this term. Respect and take full advantage of it. You should prove it in the debate,” he said.
The Governor appealed to the Leader of Opposition to cooperate.
“I know all of you senior leaders are some of the best orators. Why don’t you use your skills? It’s my humble request.”
Ignoring the Governor’s appeals, the opposition members insisted that their leader be allowed to speak. Purohit urged them to go out for some time and come back.
“Don’t get angry. If you want to register the protest, you can out for five minutes and come back,” he said.
Purohit continued reading his address amid the din. When he referred to Centre allocating Rs 1 lakh crore for infrastructure in Tamil Nadu, the DMK members raised an objection. They sought to know whether the information he shared was incorrect.
After the walkout, Stalin announced that his party would boycott the entire session.
He said this was to protest the Governor’s action in defending Chief Minister Palaniswami and his Ministers in their corrupt activities.
The DMK leader said his party had submitted a memorandum to the Governor about corruption charges against the Chief Minister and Ministers and also provided adequate evidence but the Governor took no action.
“Since we will not get a chance to speak about the corruption of this government, we have decided to boycott the entire session,” he said.
When asked whether DMK would also boycott Budget session, Stalin said a decision would be taken depending on the situation.
He also found fault with the Governor for his inaction over the release of the seven convicts in the former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case, despite a resolution passed by the cabinet.
He disagreed with the Governor that the Union Budget would pave way for development of Tamil Nadu and termed the Budget a lollipop. Stalin alleged that the Union Budget protected the interests of only the corporate houses.
Meanwhile, it was decided on Tuesday that the first sitting of the last session of the 15th Legislative Assembly will conclude on February 5.
The House will make obituary references on Wednesday and pass resolutions to condole the deaths of former minister R. Doraikkannu, playback singer S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and eminent oncologist Dr V. Shanta.
Motion of thanks to the Governor’s address will be taken up on February 4.