Twist in the tale: Why the Congress party stayed the suspension of TN MLA Ruby Manoharan?

Hours after the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee has suspended its MLA Ruby Manoharan from the party, the party's central leadership on Thursday twisted the tale after putting a stay on the suspension by apparently citing that the suspension was done without adhering to the procedure. The staying order has come as a latest development to the chaotic climate prevailing in the Tamil Nadu Congress unit. 

Ruby Manoharan' suspension order, that was sparked by a friction, was passed during the morning hours of Thursday - November 24 only to get overturned in later hours. Ruby Manoharan had been serving as the Treasurer of Tamil Nadu Congress Unit and he was elected to the assembly from the Nanguneri constituency in Tirunelveli. Manoharan is among the 18 Congress legislators in the assembly and recently, he was in the spotlight over a ruckus that happened in Chennai. 

On November 15, the Congress cadres had clashed each other in what appeared to be grave friction between the factions. The faction of cadres supporting Manoharan and the faction of cadres supporting Tamil Nadu Congress Committee Chief KS Alagiri locked horns and quarrelled each other at the party's state headquarters Sathyamoorthy Bhavan in Chennai. The clash erupted over the dissent that KS Alagiri has appointed functionaries in Tirunelveli who were opposed by Manoharan. 

When the cadres assembled for a meeting in Chennai, it has been reported that Manoharan's faction approached KS Alagiri to oppose the appointments by claiming that they were biased. However, it has been said that Alagiri didn't respond them well after which the cadres of both the factions engaged in a melee, which shocked the state and the central leadership of the Congress party. 

The clash has injured a handful of cadres and it sparked political heatwaves in the midst of Rahul Gandhi's nationwide rally for unity and to fight against communalism. Several leaders in the Tamil Nadu Congress accused Ruby Manoharan of causing the clash and chaos. Around 62 district secretaries of the state unit passed resolution to remove Manoharan from the party and the send the same to the party's disciplinary committee. 

The committee led by KR Ramasamy probed the matter and issued notice to Manoharan to appear for investigation. However, Manoharan didn't appear before the committee and on Thursday, the party has announced that Manoharan has been suspended from the party. Addressing the reporters, KR Ramasamy said, "So far, 62 district secretaries have given petition (against Manoharan) and Manoharan has asked 15 days through phone and through writing to respond to the matter. Until he responds, he has been suspended from the party." 

His suspension has further fueled the tussle and responding to the suspension, Manoharan said, "I have been working for the party for the past 20 years. I have enrolled more members to the party from Nanguneri. I don't know what I have done and suspending for the issue that I didn't commit disappoints me. I have many works at my constituency due to which I couldn't able to appear. The party should have taken a decision after listening to my response." 

Hours after the suspension, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) had intervened in the matter and announced that the suspension imposed on Ruby Manoharan has been stayed off. The party has said that the suspension was done in contravention to the principle of nature justice. Furthermore, the party has also stayed the proceedings carried out by the Disciplinary Committee in the matter.

In a press release, Dinesh Gundu Rao, who is the AICC in-charge of Tamil Nadu, Goa, and Puducherry, said, "It has come to my notice that Sri Ramasamy, Chairman Disciplinary Action Committee of Tamil Nadu PCC has suspended Sri Ruby Manoharan, MLA. The procedure has been followed improperly and it has been done in contravention to the principle of nature justice. I hereby stay the suspension order made against Sri Ruby Manoharan MLA and also stay the entire disciplinary proceedings in the above matter being conducted by the Disciplinary Action Committee of Tamil Nadu PCC."