Chennai: AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday asserted her party was "clean" as she never failed to remove partymen who were involved in criminal activities.
Intervening DMDK`s Muthukumar during a debate on the demands for grants for prison department in the state Assembly, she said: "DMDK members asked whether none of the AIADMK partymen have criminal charges against them. I have removed them from positions and postings if they have charges against them. But DMDK members have cases against them."
The wordy duel commenced when Social Welfare Minister B Valarmathi sarcastically questioned whether Muthukumar visited prison for meeting his friends, after the legislator said basic amenities in the prisons were not available.
When Muthukumar said his party founder Vijayakanth, whom he called `Captain`, as he is known among his followers, would remove any erring member, Housing Minister R Vaithilingam intervened to ask, "Why are you calling him a Captain? He was a Captain in which battalion? Unlike DMDK, AIADMK is a well disciplined party...," he added.
As DMDK members objected to the captain comment and sought permission to speak, Leader of the House O Panneerselvam said, "If any of your members want to speak, one of you can raise your hand and the Speaker would give permission."
When Speaker P Dhanapal asked rebel DMDK member Shanthi, who had shifted her loyalties to AIADMK, to speak, DMDK members again stood up and objected, since permission was not given to them.
At this point, Jayalalithaa intervened to say, "Shanthi is from your party. Your leaders are calling Shanthi a run away. So, why have you not taken action against an errant party person?"
When DMDK whip V C Chandra Kumar and Deputy Floor Leader Alagaapuram R Mohanraj sought to permit them to talk and not Shanthi, Panneerselvam said it was the prerogative of the Speaker on allowing whom to speak in the House.
"I will decide on who will speak and that is the power vested with me under the rule," the Speaker asserted.