The Election Commission on Tuesday issued a notice to DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin for his alleged remarks that BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley died as they were "unable to tolerate the pressure and torture" given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Election Commission has asked him to respond to the notice before 5.00 pm on Wednesday, "failing which the Commission shall take a decision without any further reference to you."
The notice said the Commission received a complaint from the BJP on April 2 alleging that Udhayanidhi Stalin, while addressing a political gathering in Dharapuram on March 31, made a statement that "Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley (both Union ministers) died unable to tolerate the pressure and torture given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi."
The Commission said it is of the view that the contents of the speech made by him violate the provision of Model Code of Conduct which states that "Criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work. 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. Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided."
After Udhayanidhi’s remarks, the daughters of Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley had reprimanded him, calling his claims a lie. Sushma Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri took to Twitter to state, “The statement of Udhayanidhi Stalin was totally false and that the Prime Minister had bestowed upon the family utmost care and respect at a time when it was needed most. The Prime minister and BJP had stood by the family like a rock.” Sonali Jaitley Bakshi, Arun Jaitley’s daughter, also said in a tweet, “My dad and Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared a personal bond beyond politics and that to make false allegations under election pressure was not right.”
Earlier, the Election Commission had acted against DMK’s A Raja for remarks that he made against Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami by barring him from campaigning for 48 hours and had also removed his name from DMK's list of star campaigners. The Chennai police had later also booked A Raja and two other DMK leaders — MP Dayanidhi Maran as well as star campaigner and TV personality Dindigul I Leoni — for their remarks during election campaigns.
Assembly elections were held in Tamil Nadu in a single phase on Tuesday and recorded 71.79% voting by the end of the day. Results will be announced on May 2.