DMK’s A Raja has been banned from campaigning for the April 6 Tamil Nadu election for 48 hours by the Election Commission, which called his remarks against Chief Minister E Palaniswamy “obscene” and against the “dignity of motherhood of women”.
The state’s ruling AIADMK had asked the election body to ban him from the campaign over his crude comments disparaging the Chief Minister.
“A Raja’s speech not only derogatory but also obscene and lower the dignity of the motherhood of women, which is a serious violation of the poll code,” said the Election Commission while announcing the ban and dropping the DMK leader as a star campaigner of his party.
Reprimanding the 57-year-old former Union Minister, the Election Commission said, “The Commission advises you to be watchful and not to make intemperate, indecent, derogatory, obscene remarks and lower the dignity of women in future during the election campaign.”
Mr Raja had made the comments while comparing the political journeys of his party chief MK Stalin and the Chief Minister. “… one can say Stalin is born in the proper way, nine months after a proper marriage and rituals. Whereas Edappadi is born like a premature baby and came all of a sudden,” he had said last week.
Mr Palaniswamy appeared to break down at a rally when he referred to Mr Raja’s barbs at him.
Mr Raja apologized for the comments, saying he was “misunderstood” and regretted saying the words from the “bottom of his heart” if they distressed the Chief Minister.
But he was distinctly unapologetic and even defiant in his response to the Election Commission’s demand that he explain his crass comments.
“In Tamil oratory, simile is a well-accepted norm. In my speech, evolution of the political heights and their means of MK Stalin and Edappadi Palanisami were compared by me through a simile as newborn babies for the easy understanding of the common mass,” Mr Raja told the poll panel, according to ANI.
The Election Commission today said his response was not satisfactory.