The 80 suspended legislators of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam conducted a shadow Assembly session under a tree inside Fort St George on Friday, after they were stopped from entering the office space allocated to the party in the Tamil Nadu Assembly premises. DMK deputy Duraimurugan acted as the Speaker in the mock Assembly session.
While Opposition leader MK Stalin said his party was forced to conduct the session, Duraimurugan clarified that it was not aimed at ridiculing anyone. The MLAs reached the site with chairs, a table for the 'Speaker' and an audio system, The Hindu reported.
On Wednesday, August 17, Tamil Nadu Speaker Dhanapal had suspended 80 DMK members, including Stalin, for a wee for 'unruly behaviour'. The party MLAs staged a sit-in protest the next day when they were refused entry into their office space in the Assembly premises. DMK also challenged the suspension of its party MLAs in the Chennai High Court.
Stalin said people will have a better idea of the goings-on in the Assembly and the state's problems can be amicably solved if the proceedings were telecast live. "The proceedings of the mock Assembly were viewed live by people. The Assembly should also have a similar arrangement," he said.
The party had resorted to a similar measure in 2004, when former minister K Ponmudi led an 85-strong brigade, demanding the resignation of the "dictatorial Jayalalithaa government" for reducing the session to eight days that year, according to The News Minute.