The Election Commission of India on Thursday (EC) maintained that ‘Amma’ is a generic word and need not be objected to in the nomenclature of a government scheme or public property sporting it. However, pictures of a political personality should not accompany the name, it said. Making this clear in a submission before Justice T Raja, hearing a petition from DMK treasurer M K Stalin, the EC said it had clarified its stand to Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar. The CEO had sought clarification on whether the word ‘Amma’ needs to be covered up or hidden, wherever mentioned on government premises or property as part of the name of the scheme.
The Commission also maintained that no interference was warranted with regard to the renovated entrance of the MGR memorial as it was constructed in 2012 before the model code came into force. This followed the CEO seeking clarification on whether the model of ‘two leaves’ on the gate structure be covered in line with the EC’s decision to cover up the statue of elephants, erected by the BSP government in Uttar Pradesh, during the elections.
However, the EC ordered that the painting of leaves resembling the AIADMK symbol on small buses plying in Chennai be suitably covered. This was objected to by advocate general L Somayaji who contended that was not a party symbol.
The EC also submitted that the CEO has been directed to stop distribution of freebies as was done in the case of distribution of TVs during 2011 elections.
Stalin had also filed an additional affidavit stating that the grievances have not been considered or action taken positively. Hearing was adjourned to Monday.