Vasanthi Stanley being helped into an ambulance outside Parliament on Wednesday. (AFP)
New Delhi, March 20: DMK member Vasanthi Stanley fainted in the Rajya Sabha today while chanting slogans on the Sri Lanka issue, only to acknowledge later the fate wouldn’t have befallen her had she listened to her son.
“My son had told me, ‘why don’t you just move your lips’,” the 50-year-old laughed as she spoke to The Telegraph this evening.
The MP then suggested the Congress had forced her to put her health in peril. “Some days back Mr. (Sudarsana) Natchiappan (a Congress MP who assists the chairman and deputy chairman) had told me to only raise hands and not shout but the way the Congress is treating us, we have been forced to raise slogans.”
Stanley, unwell for the past few days, could not escape the turmoil of Tamil politics that led to the DMK’s pullout as pressure piled on party MPs to been seen doing more than those of state rival AIADMK for their brethren in Lanka.
Stanley regained consciousness within a few minutes but was rushed to Safdarjung Hospital for a check-up. Doctors blamed a spike in blood pressure.
Stanley also suggested to this correspondent that the Congress’s Renuka Chowdhury could have saved her the travails, although the DMK leader admitted that her stress levels must have shot up after two days of shouting.
Chowdhury — herself once a member of the Congress’s shouting brigade — was in the chair at the time and declined Stanley’s requests for adjournment till papers were laid on the table.
During that time, AIADMK MPs had been trooping into the Well waving posters of slain LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran’s son — killed allegedly by Lankan forces — and shouting slogans close to the chair.
Stanley and a DMK colleague were many rows away, trying to compete with their southern rivals. When Stanley fell, only a few, like the Congress’s Ambika Soni, D. Purandeswari and Kumari Selja, noticed it.
The Rajya Sabha was eventually adjourned till 2pm because of the disruptions and only after that did the entire House notice Stanley’s condition.
Soni and Kumari Selja rushed to her and summoned the House doctors. Selja went with a glass of water to Stanley. After Stanley came to, she was helped to a seat next to senior DMK colleague Tiruchi Siva’s, but had to lie down again.
Chowdhury did her bit too later, asking the doctors to measure Stanley’s blood pressure pulse. “Do a sugar test,” Chowdhury told the doctors.
A stretcher and a wheel chair were brought into the narrow aisles but Stanley preferred to walk with the support of fellow members, including Siva and the BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad.
But with her health better and the DMK wanting to keep the pressure up, Stanley isn’t ready to keep quiet. “I don’t mind shouting,” she said later.