EC issues notice to A Raja over derogatory remarks against Tamil Nadu CM

The Election Commission has asked the former Union Minister to respond to the notice by 6 pm on Wednesday.
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The Election Commission has issued a show-cause notice to DMK leader A Raja for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami during an election campaign at Thousand Lights constituency in Chennai on Tuesday. The Election Commission also asked the former Union minister and DMK's ‘star campaigner’ to respond to the notice by 6 pm on Wednesday.

Based on ground reports, the Commission said that it is of the view that "the contents of the speech made by you are not only derogatory but also obscene and lower the dignity of motherhood of women, which seems to be a serious violation of the provisions of Model Code of Conduct."

The Commission has given him "an opportunity to explain your position in this regard on or before 6 pm on March 31, failing which the Commission shall take a decision without any further reference to you."

The notice said that the EC received a complaint through the state chief electoral officer from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), which alleged that Raja had made derogatory and scandalous speech against Palaniswami during an election campaign on March 26 at Thousand Lights Assembly constituency.

The notice pointed out that the Central Crime Branch has registered a case under the Indian Penal Code and the Representation of the People Act, 1951 against the DMK MP.  The EC also referred to some other remarks made by Raja against the Chief Minister. 

Raja’s comments had triggered a row in the state, with criticism from within the party and outside of it. MK Stalin had also released a statement urging everybody associated with the DMK to maintain decorum while campaigning and speaking. 

In a statement on Monday, Raja apologised while adding that his remarks were taken out of context. 

"Some people have taken just a few words from my comparison of Stalin and Edappadi Palaniswami in public life, and have represented it falsely with a deliberate political agenda. However, because there is so much discussion about the comment, I clarified at a rally in Cuddalore yesterday that I had no intention to defame either the Chief Minister or his mother. I was only speaking about the political qualities of the two leaders. Despite this, the Chief Minister was hurt by my statements, and I heard he teared up at a rally. Although my speech has been misrepresented, I apologise from the bottom of my heart. If Chief Minister Palaniswami feels hurt for personal rather than political reasons, I have no hesitation in apologising from my heart," he said.

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