The Central Crime Branch (CCB), Chennai has booked DMK MPs A Raja and Dayanidhi Maran and DMK’s star campaigner and TV personality Dindigul I Leoni for the remarks they made during election campaigns. The case was registered based on a complaint by a woman lawyer, as per reports. The CCB booked the leaders under sections 294B [sings, recites or utters any obscene song, ballad or words, in or near any public place] and 153 [Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot] of the Indian Penal Code.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) banned A Raja from campaigning for 48 hours on Thursday for his remarks on Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami during election campaigning. The ban was decided after the ECI was not satisfied with Raja’s response to the notice it sent asking for clarification on his remarks. Raja was at the receiving end of criticism for his remarks on Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami while trying to compare his political journey with that of MK Stalin. His remarks prompted several leaders from within the DMK and outside to express their objection and Stalin to issue a statement urging party leaders and members to observe decorum during campaigning.
Videos of Dayanidhi Maran and Dindigul I Leoni passing derogatory remarks while campaigning for the DMK also went viral on social media. While Dayanidhi Maran remarked that the AIADMK members calling Jayalalithaa ‘Amma’ and Narendra Modi ‘Daddy’ (based on AIADMK Minister Rajenthira Balaji’s past comment) and wondered what the relationship was, Leoni came under flak for his comment about women’s hips. He was campaigning for Thondamuthur DMK candidate Karthikeya Sivasenapathy and in an attempt to convey how the milk of native breed cows are healthy for human beings, he commented on women’s bodies in an obscene way.
However, it is not just the DMK leaders who have been making derogatory remarks while campaigning. Videos of AIADMK and BJP leaders making obscene and unsavoury remarks during electioneering have also been shared widely. Tamil Nadu goes to polls on April 6 and all election campaigns will end by 5pm on April 4.