TN Assembly session: Senthil Balaji’s comments trigger tension

File photo of Assembly

Chennai: Heated discussions were witnessed in the Assembly today after DMK MLA Senthil Balaji started to speak during the discussion on demands for grants for the Energy Department.

Balaji began his speech by saying that he did not get the post by ‘bending or bowing’. This was immediately objected to by Minister R B Udhayakumar.

He said the DMK MLA has the right to speak about his party leaders but cannot comment on other parties. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said it is wrong of Senthil Balaji to speak of another party.

DMK president M K Stalin said Senthil Balaji has not blamed or pointed out any leader in particular. “If there is anything wrong, the ministers can interfere,” he said.

Responding to this, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said he has photos of Senthil Balaji bending and bowing for posts. “He keeps shifting parties for his personal benefits,” Panneerselvam said.

Stalin hit back at Panneerselvam and said what will happen if he starts speaking about what Panneerselvam has said about this government. Panneerselvam replied and said what he waged was a ‘dharma yuddham‘.

“I did not want the party to get into the clutches of one family. Since Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and I were on the same page during the dharma yudham, we are united now. Unlike Senthil Balaji I did not quit the AIADMK and join another party. We did not shift sides for our personal benefits. Remove the rollerskater from the legs of Senthil Balaji. There were doubts in former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s death. I will appear before the Arumughaswamy Commission when they call me the next time. I did not meet Jayalalithaa during her hospitalisation and I will tell everything I know,” he said.

NT Bureau