MLAs banned from carrying phones to assembly

Chennai: Members of the Tamil Nadu assembly have been banned from carrying mobile phones inside the house following a directive from the Speaker D Jayakumar.

The Speaker informed the assembly that usage of cellphones is being banned for all, including ministers, MLAs and journalists and that separate lockers have been installed for members to deposit their phones before entering the house. He said pay phones had been installed at different places, including the cafeteria and members lounges. MLAs would be provided smart cards with talk value and valid for a year, he said.

The move assumes significance in the wake of some members in Karnataka and Gujarat assemblies being caught watching porn on their cellphones during proceedings.

Last year, the mobile phone of DMK MLA T R B Raja, son of party MP T R Baalu was confiscated allegedly for recording house proceedings during a fracas betwen arch rivals DMK and AIADMK.