Chennai: The December 2004 tsunami sparked a debate in the Tamil Nadu Assembly with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa asserting she had extended aid and succour to the affected, while DMK chief Karunanidhi had not even visited his constituency, which was also hit by the disaster.
When DMK member Pushpa Leela Alban recalled certain welfare measures of her party”s regime, including support to Tsunami victims, Social Welfare Minister B Valarmathi alleged that DMK patriarch Karunanidhi was in hospital when the disaster struck that year.
Intervening, Jayalalithaa said she as Chief Minister had visited the affected places during the tsunami and called on the injured and extended aid and succour.
“When the tsunami struck, DMK chief Karunanidhi was a member representing Chepauk constituency, which was also affected [by tsunami].... he did not even visit the affected people in his constituency.”
When J Anbazhagan (DMK) tried to say something which was lost in the din, Speaker P Dhanapal censured him for intervening while the Chief Minister was speaking.
“This is not in keeping with procedure.. this cannot be allowed.”
Soon, DMK deputy floor leader Duraimurugan was on his feet demanding permission to respond, which was not allowed.He was joined by other DMK members who stood up and pleaded for the chair's nod to respond.
Intervening, Jayalalithaa said the DMK members were not unaware of the rules of the House.
“While a minister or Chief Minister can make clarifications....a member cannot speak on behalf of another member,” she said.
With Speaker Dhanapal urging members to resume their seats, Duraimurguan, unsuccessful in his attempt to get permission to speak, led a walkout of DMK members.