CHENNAI/PERAMBALUR/COIMBATORE/SALEM: Though war of words during election campaign adds the verve to our verdict-making process, sometimes, the nerve of some leaders upsets the whole battle plan.
Recent remarks of DMK deputy general secretary A Raja on Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has snowballed into a major controversy with many believing that the jibes were ‘below the belt’. DMK president MK Stalin was quick to issue a statement restricting party members from making indecent comments.
The AIADMK has lodged a complaint with Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo against Raja for his speech at Thousand Lights constituency on Friday. Party’s advocate wing State joint secretary C Thirumaran, in the complaint, urged the Election Commission to ban Raja from taking part in any poll campaigns hereafter.
On Friday, Raja had made comments widely perceived as indecent and sexist, while comparing Stalin and Palaniswami. The uproar that followed on social media could in no way be doused by DMK supporters’ attempts to quote contentious past remarks of AIADMK leaders. Only a few days ago, Raja had received brickbats for another indecent comment on Palaniswami, to which the CM reacted, “A poor farmer can only live like that because we toil. But they (DMK) have a lot of public wealth and hence can speak like that.”
‘My speech misinterpreted’
Amidst the backlash, Raja said, “My speech has been quoted out of context and misinterpreted in the social media. I just compared how Stalin and Palaniswami came up to the leadership roles. While Stalin came up gradually from grassroots level, Palaniswami reached the CM post by touching VK Sasikala’s feet. I have no intention to criticise the honourable CM as I hold a responsible position in the DMK.”
Stalin, in a statement here, advised all party functionaries to campaign in a decent manner keeping in mind the traditions of their party. “The means to victory too are important. Remember, the DMK leadership can never agree with any member uttering indecent remarks. At a time when our victory is most certain, our rivals will twist our words. Let us not give them a chance,” he added.
Ramadoss condemns Raja
“He has insulted womanhood,” PMK founder S Ramadoss said reacting to the issue. “Raja said all this, keeping Periyar’s portrait in the background. It is highly condemnable that the DMK men are now unleashing personal attacks out of fear,” he added.