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November 23, 2001
1634 IST
Updated at 1724 IST

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Jaya expels Pondy speaker from party

In a sudden move, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (AIADMK) on Friday sacked Pondicherry assembly Speaker D Ramachandran from the primary membership of the party amidst rumours that he was contemplating joining the Congress.

In a statement in Madras, AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa said Ramachandran had been removed for acting against the ideology of the party and attempting to bring 'disrepute' to it.

"As of today, he is removed from all party positions, including the primary membership," she said.

Earlier, Jayalalithaa had told Ramachandran to quit the speaker's post when the party decided to withdraw its support to Congress ministry in Pondicherry, headed by N Rangasamy.

However, he had not done so. This had led the AIADMK'S Pondicherry unit to ask the Congress to remove him from the speaker's post.

AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa on Friday accused the Congress of 'ill-treating and humiliating' her party in Pondicherry.

"This is the reason for the withdrawal of support to the Congress ministry," she said.

Ramachandran, a former chief minister, was not immediately available in Pondicherry for his reaction.

A member of the DMK for several years, Ramachandran joined the AIADMK some months ago and was elected to the assembly from Mannadipet on an AIADMK ticket.

AIADMK, which had three members in the 30-member Pondicherry assembly, is now left with only two members.

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