DMK MP A Raja on Monday apologised for hurting the sentiments of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in a campaign speech. Days after Raja's speech was criticised by several people for being sexist and derogatory, and after Edappadi Palaniswami got emotional during a campaign rally, the DMK leader released a statement on Monday. Insisting that his 40-minute speech was cut short and misrepresented for political motives, Raja added that he was still deeply apologetic for hurting Edappadi Palaniswami.
A Raja in his statement said, "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 further said that his speech was about Stalin and Edappadi Palaniswami in their public life, and that he did not speak about their personal life. "I request you all to watch the entire 40-minute speech before coming to any conclusions," he said.
During a campaign at the Thousand Lights constituency last week, A Raja had said, “Let’s compare DMK President Stalin and Edappadi K Palaniswami. In 23 years Stalin went to jail under MISA rule. Then he served as a district secretary in the party, general committee member, youth wing secretary, treasurer, then working president and then president of DMK. He became a leader step-by-step and has served as an MLA, then Chennai’s Mayor, state Minister, Deputy CM, and now he is going to become a CM,” he said, adding, “That’s why in the villages I say, if Stalin is a healthy baby born out of a ‘rightful’ marriage, Edappadi Palaniswami is a premature baby born out of an illicit affair in politics.”
Edappadi Palaniswami got emotional during a rally about this statement, and said, “If a Chief Minister is disrespected in this way, then imagine the things that will happen to a common man if such people come to power.” He also said that the statement is not only against his mother but against every mother, and that people who speak in a derogatory manner about women must learn a lesson.