Chennai: MK Stalin, the leader of the main opposition party in Tamil Nadu, was carried out by guards or marshalls from the state legislature today, action that his party described as comparable to the Emergency of the 70s when all democratic rights were crushed by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
All the 80 members present today from the DMK, which is headed by Mr Stalin’s father, MK Karunanidhi, have been banned from attending the legislature for a week. The DMK has 89 legislators in all.
Like Mr Stalin, other members of the DMK were removed forcibly from the building after they protested against what they described as “disrespectful remarks” against him by a member of the ruling AIADMK party.
“Opposition members need to be treteed with respect and decorum, these are people’s elected representatives,” said DMK spokesperson Manu Raj Sundaram, alleging that the punishment of his colleagues proves “Chief Minister Jayalalithaa cannot tolerate any criticism.” Ms Jayalalithaa, 68, was not present.
The comment that provoked the chaos allegedly mocked a state-wide tour of Mr Stalin ahead of the elections which his party lost last year. The DMK said their leader was being ridiculed with offensive language. Mr Stalin said that he was proud of his campaign. The DMK wanted the remarks against him to be removed or expunged for records, and when that was refused, they began noisy protests.