DMK members stalled proceedings and trooped into the aisle in the Lok Sabha Tuesday to press for a withdrawal of all hydrocarbon projects in the Cauvery delta area in Tamil Nadu.
DMK floor leader T R Baalu got visibly angry when Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury started speaking before he finished. He was seen gesturing to Congress chief whip Kodikunnil Suresh, standing behind Chowdhury, to register his disappointment. This seemed to have an effect as Suresh soon gestured to Speaker Om Birla to allow Baalu to complete. The Chair obliged by letting Baalu resume after a while.
During zero hour, Baalu said that DMK leader M K Stalin, during a visit of the delta area in 2019, had promised to convert it into a protected agriculture zone. He said the same promise had been made by the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister on Monday. Baalu pointed out that the Petroleum Ministry had recently issued notices calling for Expression of Interest in 274 places part of the delta area for hydrocarbon exploration.
“I request the Agriculture Minister to kindly prevail upon the Petroleum Minister to withdraw all the hydrocarbon projects, ongoing as well as proposed,” he said. Baalu sought a response from Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who was present in the House. The Speaker, however, moved on to another matter.