The entire opposition walked out of the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday after Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami justified lathicharge in Washermenpet in Chennai last Friday on Muslims protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act and Speaker P Dhanapal rejected a private resolution given notice by the DMK chief and Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin for a resolution against the act.
The Chief Minister said the police resorted to lathi charge after the agitators holding an unauthorized demonstration in a public refused to disperse and resorted to violence.
He also alleged that the protest spread to other parts after the agitators spread a rumour that an old Muslim who had died of age-related illnesses was killed in the latchicharge. The agitators brought the body to the protest venue to foment further trouble.
He said 82 persons had been arrested in connection with the violence in Washermenpet.
Members of the DMK, Congress and the All India Muslim League contested the Chief Minister’s version of the incidents in Washermenpet and contended that the agitation was peaceful and the lathicharge was unprovoked.
Leader of the Congress Legislature Party K R Ramaswamy said the Speaker rejected his party’s demand for a debate on the CAA issue.
Stalin took particular exception to the Speaker rejecting his private member resolution against the CAA for adoption by the House as had happened in Puducherry, Kerala, Punjab and West Bengal.
Stalin said the Speaker who sat on his demand in the previous session, rejected a fresh notice he had given for adoption of the resolution in the current session.
Talking to reporters after the walkout, Stalin accused the Speaker of having misled the House by saying that the same issue could not be raised twice in the Assembly. Quoting Assembly rules, Stalin pointed out that an issue could not be raised only if it had already been rejected by the chair. In the case of his resolution, no decision was taken in the last session and the Speaker gave in writing only on Monday that his demand for an anti-CAA resolution had been rejected.