Tamil Nadu power struggle echoes in Lok Sabha

FILE: New Delhi: AIADMK MPs with the late J Jayalalithaa's photographs in their pockets at Parliament house in New Delhi, Feb 3, 2017. Photo - PTI

FILE: New Delhi: AIADMK MPs with the late J Jayalalithaa’s photographs in their pockets at Parliament house in New Delhi, Feb 3, 2017.
Photo – PTI

The ongoing power struggle in Tamil Nadu on Thursday played out in the Lok Sabha with AIADMK members disrupting proceedings by raising slogans apparently supporting VK Sasikala as the next Chief Minister.

As soon as the House took up Question Hour, majority of the AIADMK members present in the House rushed to Well shouting slogans such as ‘Save our democracy’.

Earlier, AIADMK leader in the House P Venugopal wanted to raise an issue but was disallowed by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.

While most members were in the Well, some were seen standing near their seats. Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, who was also present, was seen handing over slips to party members standing in the Well.

The Speaker asked them to raise the issue during Zero Hour and later adjourned the proceedings for nearly 20 minutes till 1130 hours. This is for the first time in this session that AIADMK members were seen in the Lok Sabha.

Later before the start of the Zero Hour, the Speaker rejected the notice for adjournment moved by Venugopal saying it is regarding the Governor who is a constitutional authority and the matter cannot be raised in the House.

AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala after attending the party's MLA's meeting in which she was elected as a AIADMK Legislative party leader, set to become Tamil Nadu CM, at Party's Headquarters in Chennai on 05 February 2017.

AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala after attending the party’s MLA’s meeting in which she was elected as a AIADMK Legislative party leader, set to become Tamil Nadu CM, at Party’s Headquarters in Chennai on 05 February 2017.

After the House was adjourned at around 1110 hours, some Opposition members said the AIADMK members were “protesting” the alleged delay on part of the Governor to swear in VK Sasikala as the next Chief Minister.

When the House met for the day, the Speaker referred to the attack on the Afghanistan Supreme Court yesterday and urged countries to stand by the Afghan government in combating terrorism.

When the members were about to stand in silence as a mark of respect for the Afghan attack victims, Congress Leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge asked the Speaker to also make an obituary reference for those who died standing in ATM queues days after demonetisation was announced by the government on November 8 last year.

PTI