War of words in TN Assembly over depiction of leaves on small buses
Chennai: Arch rivals AIADMK and DMK were today engaged in a war of words in the Tamil Nadu Assembly over depiction of leaves on recently introduced small bus services, culminating in the eviction of the opposition party members. Trouble erupted when Municipal Administration Minister, K.P. Munusamy, made some remarks against DMK member E.V. Velu, a former AIADMK man, resulting in high-decibel exchange of words between the Treasury and DMK benches. Speaker P. Dhanapal announced that none of the remarks made by DMK members will go on record, even as the opposition MLAs remained standing, demanding that they also be allowed to speak.
Suddenly, DMK members S.S. Sivasankaran, Soundarapandian and Dravida Mani went and squatted before the Speaker’s chair, prompting him to ask them to resume their seats. With his repeated pleas going unheeded, Dhanapal summoned the marshals to evict the DMK members. The three MLAs who had squatted before the Speaker where physically removed, while the others were guided out by the marshals.
Later, Transport Minister K.T. Senthil Balaji denied DMK’s contention that the leaves symbol on the small buses was representative of ruling AIADMK’s symbol, the Two Leaves. Leaves were printed on the sides of the buses to depict greenery and DMK had raised such an allegation since they had nothing else to complain about and unable to stand the popularity of the government initiative, he said, adding, more than 1.4 lakh passengers had used the services in the first four days of its launch.
Meanwhile, DMK today slapped a legal notice on Chief Minister, J. Jayalalithaa, and others charging her government with misusing official position by propagating her party’s symbol “two leaves” on recently launched public transport buses, besides complaining to Election Commission. The DMK Legal Wing has served the notices to State’s Transport Minister, Senthil Balaji, Chief Secretary Sheela Balaakrishnan and Managing Director of Metropolitan Transport Corporation among others.
The M. Karunanidhi led party has also petitioned the Election Commission to derecognise AIADMK for violating model code of conduct in the Yercaud Assemby bypoll. It also urged the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti Corruption Bureau to initiate steps against those named in its complaint under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The complaint stated that AIADMK with calculative and scientific motive has painted its “two leaves” symbol on 50 mini-buses launched on October 23 and also on some 610 buses. The action amounted to misuse and abusing the official position as public servant and also a criminal misconduct, it charged. The complaint besides urging J. Jayalalithaa to remove the advertisements has also appealed to CAG to look into the issue.