Violence breaks out between two AIADMK factions as late CM’s figurine is draped in Tricolour; violation of flag code, agrees District Election Officer Karthikeyan; Dhinakaran says rivals have brought disgrace to her memory
CHENNAI: Taking political campaigning to a new low, a replica of a coffin with late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s figurine was taken through the streets of RK Nagar by the leaders of the O Panneerselvam-led faction of the AIADMK on Thursday.
Placing the ‘coffin’ draped with Tricolour over the bonnet of an open top jeep, former minister K Pandiarajan and other functionaries in the OPS camps carried out campaign at Meenambal Nagar in Korukkupet.
Hoping to tug at the heartstrings of Jaya loyalists, the speakers appealed to the voters to seek “justice for the late leader’s death”. Soon, members of the rival AIADMK camp opposed it and staged a protest seeking intervention of the election officials. When contacted, District Election Officer D Karthikeyan told Express that “using national flag in this manner is violation of the flag code. We have asked the police to take necessary action.” After sometime, following police intervention the national flag was covered with another cloth. However, the campaign vehicle went on asking the voters to ‘render justice’ for the death of Jayalalithaa, triggering protests from functionaries of the AIADMK (Amma) party.
Condemning the use of a coffin, AIADMK (Amma) candidate T T V Dhinakaran said that by doing so, the OPS faction had brought disgrace to the late chief minister. After some time, the IT wing functionaries led by its secretary Raj Satyan and women cadre staged a demonstration in front of the office of Returning Officer Praveen P Nair demanding the disqualification of E Madhusudhanan, candidate of the AIADMK (PT Amma) for this type of campaign and the arrest of Pandiarajan for leading the campaign.
Raj Satyan charged that the Panneerselvam faction was trying to create law and order problems in the constituency fearing defeat in the by-election. Insulting the national flag was a crime and those involved in it should be arrested, he said. The Panneerselvam faction has been demanding a CBI probe into Jayalalithaa’s death.