Chennai: It was all-out war in the Tamil Nadu assembly Wednesday with Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and one-time ally A. Vijayakant, chief of the DMDK, exchanging bitter words.
Vijayakant, whose party fought the April 2010 assembly elections with the AIADMK but parted ways the year after, and other legislators of his party were evicted from the house following the verbal duel.
While Jayalalithaa later regretted the decision of entering into an alliance with the DMDK, Vijayakant told reporters outside the assembly: "We are not allowed to speak in the house. We will fight the ensuing by-election for Sankarankoil if polls are held under governor rule."
Trouble had begun with DMDK member V.C. Chandrakumar saying in the house that the government had increased bus fare and milk prices after the local body elections. This escalated into a full blown war of words.
Jayalalithaa said it had become necessary to hike prices. Power rates, she added, were not raised by the state government but decided by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission.
She asked the DMDK whether it would contest the ensuing Sankarankoil by-election independently like her party would be doing. To this, Vijayakant said the AIADMK had not won even one by-election during the DMK rule.
As the two leaders argued, members of their parties also got into noisy discussions, raising a din and prompting Speaker D. Jayakumar to refer the behaviour of the DMDK to the Privileges Committee.
Jayalalithaa said the decision was a lenient one and the opposition party members should have been suspended for the entire session. Openly attacking Vijayakant, she said this would happen if unqualified people reached the top position.
She said the upturn for DMDK came because of her party and it has ended and henceforth it is going to be downslide for them.
"The AIADMK would have won the elections even without any alliance. It is DMDK's luck that they had aligned with us," the chief minister said, adding that she had bowed to her party cadres' wishes and aligned with the DMDK.
While the AIADMK has a strength of 148 (excluding the speaker) in the 234-seat house, the DMDK is the second largest party with 29 members and the DMK has 23 legislators.