Chennai, April 1: The Election Commission has banned DMK leader A Raja from campaigning for 48 hours with immediate effect for his objectionable remark about Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami's mother, news agency ANI reported today. The EC also ordered removal of A Raja from DMK's list of star campaigners for Tamil Nadu assembly elections. The poll panel reportedly said A Raja's response was not satisfactory.
Speaking during the poll campaign at Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni, A Raja had made insensitive remarks against Palaniswami's late mother. He had said: "While Stalin was born out of a legitimate relationship and through a normal delivery, Palaniswami was born out of an illicit relationship and through a premature delivery. A doctor from Delhi, Prime Minister Modi is giving a healthy certificate to this premature baby by holding his hand." The DMK leader had later apologised for the comments.
Palaniswami broke into tears while reacting to A Raja's remarks. The Chief Minister said that the manner in which A Raja spoke was disgusting and added that the attack was owing to a common man like him becoming the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Later, a complaint was lodged against A Raja after which the EC sought detailed report from state's chief electoral officer Satyabrata Sahoo. Subsequently, a notice was issued to A Raja.
A Raja was asked to explain his position on the matter by 6 pm on March 31. "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," the Election Commission observed.