The Election Commission on Tuesday issued a notice to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Udhayanidhi Stalin for his recent controversial comment on the death of former Union ministers Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, PTI reported. Udhayanidhi, the son of DMK chief MK Stalin, has been asked to respond to the notice by 5 pm on Wednesday.
The notice mentioned that on April 2, the Election Commission had received a complaint from the Bharatiya Janata Party over his remarks. The Commission said it held the view that the contents of the speech made by him violated a provision of the Model Code of Conduct that deals with criticism of other political parties.
“Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties,” the rule states. “Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided.”
While addressing an election rally last week, Udhayanidhi Stalin claimed that Swaraj and Jaitley died as they could not handle the pressure that Prime Minister Narendra Modi put on them. He made the comment while targeting Modi’s remark that the DMK scion’s entry into politics had come at the cost of senior leaders of the party. Udhayanidhi Stalin, who fought on a party ticket from the Chepauk-Triplicane constituency for the first time in Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, accused Modi himself of sidelining senior leaders of the BJP.
“People were saying [Lal Krishna] Advani who took the Rath Yatra will become the next prime minister but Modi sidelined him,” he said. “Next Murali Manohar Joshi, [then] there was Yashwant Sinha...he was unable to bear the torture [and] left the party. Sushma Swaraj could not handle the pressure and she died. Arun Jaitley also could not handle the pressure and torture and he died. PM [Modi] also sidelined Venkaiah Naidu.”
Referring to his comments, the BJP had lodged a complaint to the Election Commission demanding disqualification of Udhayanidhi Stalin’s candidature. The party had also demanded that he be barred from campaigning ahead of the elections. However, it remains to be seen what actions the poll body takes now that voting on all 234 seats of Tamil Nadu has concluded.