Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal on Monday ruled that the DMK Compact Disc, submitted to raise the issue of alleged horse-trading of some AIADMK MLAs, was only a TV channel’s video footage with no evidential value. The issue could not be allowed to be raised in the House based on the media reportage — be it print or visual, he said adding the CD submitted by DMK legislator K Pichandi only contained footage aired by a television channel. He cited precedents from House records to assert that a debate based on media report was not allowable. Matters pending before the court too cannot be raised, he said adding that allowing discussion on such matters would go against the House rules and traditions.
On June 16, when Leader of Opposition M K Stalin tried to hand over a CD to Dhanapal in the House seeking nod to raise the issue, the latter had told him to give it in his chamber. He had then said that he would examine it and give his ruling on it. Pichandi had submitted the CD subsequently. Right from June 14 when the assembly convened, DMK had been trying to raise the issue of the alleged payoffs. The matter came to fore after a TV channel, as part of its ‘sting’ operation, aired footage in which ruling party MLA S S Saravanan purportedly made claims about inducements to ruling party legislators ahead of the trust vote sought by Chief Minister K Palaniswami regime in February last.
DMK members were en masse evicted on the opening day of the assembly session for disrupting its proceedings by insisting on raising the issue despite the Speaker’s ruling against it. They staged walk out on the next two consecutive days after trying in vain to raise the issue of alleged horse-trading. The Speaker had held that the matter was based on media reports and also it was sub-judice. DMK has approached the Madras High Court on the issue.