Thursday, Oct 16, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The Congress MP, Mani Shankar Aiyar (left), along with the party leaders, Peter Alphonse, S. Balakrishnan, R. Anbarasu, S.R. Balasubramaniam, E.V.K.S. Elangovan and G.K. Vasan, at the Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Wednesday. Mr. Aiyar presented a memorandum at the Governor's office.
If the Government failed to restore law and order, the Centre should take action under the provisions of the Constitution to "rectify the breakdown of the constitutional machinery, which is so evident in present-day Tamil Nadu,'' the leaders said in their memorandum.
Mr. Aiyar was attacked when he was returning from a government function at Nagapattinam, where the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, launched development schemes on Monday. The attack and the subsequent ransacking of his office at Mayiladuthurai followed his spat with the Chief Minister at the function.
In their memorandum, the leaders also charged: "Government-sponsored terrorism is rendering it impossible for elected Opposition representatives to discharge their duties." They appealed to the Governor, as the guardian of the Constitution in the State, "to ensure that Tamil Nadu gets a form of government which better understands than the present fascist government the obligations of the executive in a democracy and the proprieties of democratic practice."
As the Governor is away in Delhi, the memorandum was handed over to a senior Raj Bhavan official. Mr. Aiyar, who came here escorted by the Pondicherry police, was part of the delegation led by the State Congress president, S. Balakrishnan; the working president, E.V.K.S. Elangovan; the legislature party leader, S.R. Balasubramaniam, and the AICC secretary, G.K. Vasan.
The leaders demanded that the State Government and the Centre take immediate steps to identify the culprits behind the incidents. They also demanded a public apology from the Chief Minister for her "gross abuse of a government platform, convened exclusively to discuss development issues, to launch a vicious personal attack on an Opposition MP."
Party to boycott functions
The Congress announced that its MLAs and MPs would boycott all State Government functions and that the party would hold a protest meeting here on October 20.
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