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Finance Minister insulted Opposition parties, alleges AIADMK – The Hindu

‘Party staged walkout because he stepped out of the House when OPS was speaking’

‘Party staged walkout because he stepped out of the House when OPS was speaking’

The AIADMK, which staged a walkout from the Assembly on Thursday, resorted to the move only to condemn Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan for stepping out of the House when AIADMK’s Deputy Floor Leader O. Panneerselvam was speaking, Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K. Palaniswami said.
Addressing the media after staging the walkout, Mr. Palaniswami alleged that the Finance Minister deliberately stepped out of the House, whereas it had been the tradition to listen to the opinions expressed by members during the debate on the Budget and provide answers.
Describing the Finance Minister’s action as an “insult to Opposition parties”, Mr. Palaniswami said it had lowered the decorum of the House. He also claimed that the Finance Minister “could not answer the questions” raised by Mr. Panneerselvam, and flung a paper he was holding before stepping out.
Mr. Panneerselvam was the Finance Minister for 10 years, and had also served as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Palaniswami pointed out. When asked about a remark made by Assembly Speaker M. Appavu (which he himself had expunged in his capacity as the Chair) on the AIADMK staging a walkout, Mr. Palaniswami said that after a legislator assumes the office of the Speaker, he/she is considered equivalent to a judge, and everyone expects him/her to be non-partisan.
“We are hurt. We think such comments should not come from anyone from that Chair,” Mr. Palaniswami said, adding, “How can we sit there when we are being insulted?”
Referring to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin’s statement about the status of the announcements made in the Assembly during the erstwhile AIADMK regime, Mr. Palaniswami sought to explain why some of them could not be implemented.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a major factor, he said, adding that only 26 of the 1,704 announcements were dropped due to various reasons such as non-receipt of permission from the Central government and problems with land acquisition. “About 97% of the announcements were implemented, going by the data provided by the Chief Minister himself,” Mr. Palaniswami said.

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