Chennai AIADMK leader demands front row seat for deputy leader, criticizes government's claims and Governor's address.
AIADMK general secretary and Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Monday used the row over Governor R.N. Ravi’s address to reiterate his demand for the allotment of a seat in the front row of the Opposition benches to AIADMK deputy floor leader R.B. Udhayakumar.
Addressing the media, Mr Palaniswami expressed the hope that Assembly Speaker M. Appavu, who underscored the importance of adhering to conventions with regard to the Governor’s address to the House, would follow suit when it comes to the seating arrangement for Mr. Udhayakumar – an issue his party has repeatedly raised with the presiding officer.
However, he refused to get drawn into the debate over whether Mr. Ravi was seeking to set a new convention regarding the rendering of the national anthem at the beginning of the Governor’s address. “It is a matter among the Governor, the Speaker [M. Appavu] and the government. You need to ask them,” he told journalists outside the Assembly Chamber.
He likened the Governor’s address to “stale food”. The former Chief Minister and the AIADMK’s ousted coordinator, O. Panneerselvam, said it symbolised falsity. Coming down heavily on the government’s claim of success in attracting investments, flood management and the coverage of women under the Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thittam, he said the government tried to conceal the factual position.
Meanwhile, on the Governor walking out of the House before the text of the address approved by him was fully read out and the national anthem was rendered, the AMMK’s general secretary, T.T.V. Dhinakaran, said it did not behove the office held by Mr. Ravi. As for the contents of the address, the AMMK leader pulled up the DMK regime for “compelling” the Governor to present details “contrary to truth” on law and order, and give an impression that the government was adopting an uncompromising attitude whereas the situation was “deteriorating”. By demanding that the Centre conduct a caste census along with the general census, the State government was not willing to hold a caste survey, which was vital to protect social justice and reservation, he said.