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AIADMK leader EPS, MLAs arrested for holding protest against Speaker without police permission

EPS slams ‘murder of democracy’, accuses Chief Minister M K Stalin of using the police ‘to silence the Opposition’.

EPS with other AIADMK cadre wearing black during the protest (Photo credit: AIADMK)

The Chennai Police on Wednesday arrested AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and other Opposition MLAs for staging a protest at the Valluvar Kottam monument even after being denied police permission to do so.

The Opposition leaders were taken in a bus to Rajarathinam Stadium at Egmore, where EPS slammed the “murder of democracy” and accused Chief Minister M K Stalin of “using the police force to silence the Opposition”.

Continuing their protests against Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Speaker M Appavu over the allotment of the deputy leader of the Opposition chair in the Assembly, the AIADMK members arrived at the protest site on Wednesday, clad in black, and raised slogans against the DMK. They asked the Speaker to save the honour of the Assembly and criticised him for not taking any action despite providing various representations.

Addressing reporters, EPS, the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, accused Stalin of using former chief minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) to defeat AIADMK. “Stalin, who is not able to take on AIADMK politically, is using OPS to defeat us. After the Assembly proceedings on Tuesday, both OPS and Stalin spoke for half an hour. Based on Stalin’s advice, OPS entered the AIADMK headquarters and created a ruckus,” Edappadi claimed.

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“We will continue our protest till we get justice. The Madras High Court has delivered the verdict in our favour, they have recognised the decision taken in the general council meeting to remove Panneerselvam and others supporting him. We have provided all evidence to the Speaker but no action has been taken. What is happening now is a murder of democracy. The law and order has completely deteriorated…Stalin is using the police force to silence the Opposition. He is taking measures to destroy the AIADMK which will never happen,” he added.

Edappadi further alleged that the Speaker was acting in favour of OPS, at Stalin’s behest.

On the second day of the Assembly session on Tuesday, Speaker Appavu issued directions to the marshals to remove the AIADMK members from the hall as they continued to disrupt Assembly proceedings over seating arrangements.

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The Edappadi-led AIADMK had expelled OPS and others supporting him from the party and appointed R B Udhayakumar as the deputy leader of the Opposition. However, OPS, along with his supporting MLAs, arrived at the Assembly and sat next to EPS as the deputy leader of the Opposition.

The members continued to raise slogans asking the Speaker to provide clarification before beginning the session. The Speaker noted that no one had the right to dictate to the Speaker to allot specific seats and added that the Opposition members have arrived in the Assembly with the intention to create a ruckus as they knew the government was about to pass a resolution against the imposition of Hindi and they do not want to be present in the hall during the time.

Meanwhile, following Edappadi’s arrest, AIADMK members in other districts indulged in road blockades and raised slogans against the ruling DMK government. Despite the situation outside the Assembly hall, OPS attended the Assembly proceedings on Wednesday.

First published on: 19-10-2022 at 11:33 IST
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