Chennai: An issue over the painting of pictures of leaves on the newly launched small buses rocked Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday with DMK alleging it represented the ruling AIADMK`s symbol, a charge rejected by the government.
The issue was raised outside the Assembly too with the DMK`s legal wing serving notices to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and others besides petitioning the Election Commission (EC) seeking to derecognise AIADMK for allegedly violating model code of conduct in force for the December 4 Yercaud Assembly bypoll.
The DMK has also sent the complaints to the Comptroller and Auditor General and the state`s Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption demanding action for alleged misuse of public funds to further the poll prospects of the ruling party.
In the Assembly, DMK members sought to raise the issue and some remarks of Municipal Administration Minister KP Munusamy against DMK member EV Velu, a former AIADMK man, led to vociferous exchange of words between the two sides.
Speaker P Dhanapal ordered that none of the remarks made by DMK members will go on record, even as opposition MLAs were up on their feet seeking permission to raise the issue.
Suddenly, DMK members SS Sivasankaran, Soundarapandian and Dravida Mani rushed towards the Speaker`s podium and squatted before the chair.
With his repeated pleas to return to their seats going unheeded, Dhanapal ordered the trio`s eviction from the House.
Later, Transport minister KT Senthil Balaji denied DMK`s contention that the leaves symbol on the small buses were representative of ruling AIADMK`s symbol, the "Two Leaves".
Leaves were printed on the sides of the buses to promote the concept of greenery, he said and accused the DMK of making an issue as they were unable to accept the popularity of the AIADMK Government`s initiative.
DMK legal wing`s notice was also sent to the state Transport minister, Chief Secretary Sheela Balaakrishnan and Managing Director of Metropolitan Transport Corporation among others.
The complaint stated that the AIADMK with calculative and scientific motive has painted its "Two Leaves" symbol on 50 mini-buss launched on October 23 and also on some 610 buses.
In the petition filed before the CEC, DMK alleged that
painting of the leaves symbol gave "undue advantage and benefit" to AIADMK in the ensuing elections with the "direct beneficiary" being Jayalalithaa.
The petition, signed by the DMK Organising Secretary TKS Elangovan and submitted to the Election Commission by Parliamentary Party Leader TR Baalu, recalled the CEC`s order directing covering of Elephant statues during Uttar Pradesh elections. Elephant is the symbol of Mayawati-led BSP, which was ruling the state then.
"But unlike statues, buses are highly mobile and can become propaganda units by themselves," it said seeking EC`s intervention to remove the leaves symbols from buses.