DMK’s A Raja barred from campaigning for 48 hours after remarks against Tamil Nadu CM
The poll body said his remarks were obscene and ‘lowered the dignity of the motherhood of women’.
The Election Commission on Thursday barred Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader A Raja from campaigning for the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections for 48 hours after his remarks against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and his mother, The New Indian Express reported.
The poll body also removed him from the list of star campaigners for the DMK. “The contents of your speech are not only derogatory but also obscene and lower the dignity of the motherhood of women, which is a serious violation of the model code of conduct,” it said.
The commission advised the former Union minister to be careful and not make indecent remarks in future during election campaign.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had also criticised Raja at an election rally in Tamil Nadu’s Thirukoyilur town, PTI reported. “I think they [DMK] have no regard for women and want to win this election by hook or crook,” he said.
He urged “mothers and sisters” of the state to not vote for the party in the elections. “In the past, DMK made such bad remarks against [former chief minister] Jayalalithaa ji,” he claimed.
On Wednesday, Election Commission had sent a notice to Raja for two of his speeches. The first one was in Keelapalur, where Raja had said, “[MK] Stalin is a child of good relationship and good birth while Edappadi Palaniswami is a child of bad relationship and a premature born child”.
The second speech cited by the Election Commission was given in Meensurutti, where the DMK leader said that Palaniswami had “crawled and held Sasikala’s feet who is almost equal in age or to say who is six months younger” to him “just for the sake of [becoming] chief minister”.
Raja’s comments had sparked public outrage, with AIADMK leaders staging statewide protests demanding his arrest.
Palaniswami had broken down while responding to Raja’s comments on Sunday. A day later, Raja apologised, saying he did not intend to defame Palaniswami or his mother, and was only comparing the leadership of DMK President MK Stalin and the Tamil Nadu chief minister.