‘Never insulted Palaniswami…AIADMK, BJP propagating false facts’: A Raja responds to EC notice

The reference to “new born babies” was a ‘simili’ used in response to repeated allegations raised by Palaniswami stating that Stalin had never worked hard to become the leader, Raja wrote.

Responding to the notice served on him by the Election Commission (EC), DMK leader A Raja Wednesday said he never made any derogatory or defamatory statement against Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami and the AIADMK as well as the BJP are falsely propagating that he had insulted the CM.

“I deny that I made any derogatory or defamatory speeches against the Hon’ble Chief Minister and I made any speech which would demean or defame women or motherhood,” Raja wrote in his response to the notice served by EC.

He added, “As a student of Ambedkar, Periyar and Anna, as a person who was guided by Dr. KALAINGAR Kuranithi and as a member of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, I Had or Have or will never indulge in such activities which will disrepute women. The basic foundation of the Dravidian movement is to empower women and to get them equal rights in the society. Belonging to such movement one cannot even dream of bringing disrepute to women or motherhood.”

The EC had served the notice based on a complaint filed by the AIADMK to the state Chief Electoral Officer regarding Raja’s remarks against Palaniswami during an election campaign at Thousand Lights Assembly constituency on March 26. The EC took note of the fact that the Central Crime Branch (CCB) had registered a case against the DMK star campaigner under section 153, 294(b) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 127 of the Representation of People Act, 1951.

In the notice, the EC cited two speeches made by Raja. One was at Keelapalur at 7 pm where he said, “Stalin is a child of good relationship and good birth, while Edappadi Palaniswamy is a child of bad relationship and a premature born child.”

His second statement was made at Meensurupatti at 08.30 pm on the same day, where he said, “You (Palaniswami) crawled and held Sasikala’s feet to come to this position… EPS, who considers that he has knowledge and dignity, just for the sake of CM post, crawled and held Sasikala’s feet who is almost in equal in age or to say who is six months younger. You crawled and prayed at her feet, isn’t it how you came…”

He also said, “… born in an illegal manner, in a premature birth is EPS.”

Explaining his speech, which has stirred controversy, Raja stated that he was using a simile — a well-accepted norm in Tamil oratory — when he compared the evolution of political journey of M K Stalin and E Palaniswami. The reference to “new born babies” was a ‘simili’ used in response to repeated allegations raised by Palaniswami stating that Stalin had never worked hard to become the leader, Raja wrote.

He further stated that when the controversy began, he had explained to the press on March 27 what he meant by his speech. “In spite of explanations the Hon’ble Chief Minister quoted my speech out of context and became emotional in a public meeting on 28.03.2021 [at] Thiruvotriyur in Chennai,” he stated.

Further saying that a thorough investigation will prove that he has been falsely accused of insulting the CM, Raja requested the poll watchdog to get a copy and consider the full text of his speech. He also requested the EC to furnish a copy of the complaint lodged by AIADMK on March 27 and give him an opportunity to give a detailed reply and hold a personal hearing with his advocate.

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