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AIADMK MLAs detained for blocking road to protest integration of university named after Jayalalithaa

The AIADMK legislators staged a ‘road-roko’ (block the streets) and said the DMK government is acting with a political vendetta

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
Updated: August 31, 2021 6:31:55 pm
The AIADMK legislators staged a ‘road-roko’ (block the streets) and said the DMK government is acting with a political vendetta. (Twitter/FarukAdmk)

The MLAs of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), including the deputy leader of Opposition O Pannerselvam, were detained by the city police after they resorted to a road blockade outside Kalaivanar Arangam on Wallajah Road in Chennai, where the Tamil Nadu Government’s Budget session was being conducted.

The Opposition party members staged a protest to show their dissent against the government’s move to integrate a university named after late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa with Annamalai University.

Despite the intervention of Assembly Speaker Appavu, who told the Opposition MLAs that they will be provided with an opportunity to register their remarks in the session, the Opposition walked out of the assembly even before Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudi tabled the Tamil Nadu University Laws (Amendment) Bill 2021. AIADMK’s ally BJP too opposed the move.

The AIADMK legislators staged a ‘road-roko’ (block the streets) and said the DMK government is acting with a political vendetta. The police took the MLAs in a bus, detained them at a nearby marriage hall and released them after a few hours. AIADMK cadres staged protests in places including Villupuram, Tiruchirappalli, and Ranipet and they raised slogans against the DMK government over the move.

Addressing the media, Pannerselvam said the AIADMK government had sought permission from the Governor and Syndicate to name the university after late AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa. “With a political vendetta, the DMK government has introduced the bill. We protested against it before it was tabled at the assembly, the Speaker didn’t provide us a chance to speak. Amma (Jayalalithaa) had introduced so many schemes for the welfare of the students. Her rule was a golden era, so many higher education institutions were started in the state. No other Chief Minister has achieved more than Amma in any state. It was thus only appropriate and fitting to name a university after her,” he said.

The TN Universities Laws (Amendment and Repeal) Bill, which was later passed, repealed the Villupuram-based Dr J Jayalalithaa University Act, 2021. Also, the Bill was for conversion of Annamalai University from a unitary to affiliating university by bringing colleges situated in Villupuram, Cuddalore, Kallakurichi and Mayiladuthurai districts under its ambit.

To facilitate the move, the Bill amended the laws governing Annamalai and Bharathidasan universities.  When the Bill was taken up for passage, BJP’s Nainar Nagendran opposed it saying the move was only to effect a name change.

The previous AIADMK regime had last September announced a university named after former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa by bifurcating the Vellore based Thiruvalluvar university and a Bill was passed in the Assembly in this respect during the fag end of its term.

(With PTI Inputs)

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