Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) youth wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin, while responding to Election Commission’s (EC) notice, claimed that he didn’t breach the Model Code of Conduct (MCC). The EC’s notice was regarding Stalin’s remarks on late BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.
Udhayanidhi said that the poll panel “has not taken the whole speech into consideration and only referred to two lines”.
The EC had referred to a clause that prohibits criticism of private life of leaders and workers of other parties.
Stalin said, “The said lines if appreciated in spirit of the delivery of the entire speech taken as a whole, do not breach the MCC,” The News Minute reported.
What Had Udhayanidhi Stalin Said
Udhayanidhi had said, in a public programme, that both Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley died owing to the torture and pressure exerted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Following his speech, the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP had lodged a formal complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer to disqualify Udhayanidhi Stalin from contesting polls from Chepauk constituency.
The EC had asked Stalin to respond to the notice before 5 pm on Wednesday.
Stalin’s Response to the Election Commission
Stalin explained that he was only responding to Modi's accusation against him that he had reached high political office in DMK through short cut methods.
He added, “The impugned speech is nothing but answer to that criticism wherein I have said that Mr Narendra Modi became Prime Minister only through short cut methods, overlooking other senior leaders in BJP while he was Chief Minister of Gujarat,” The News Minute reported.
Stalin further claimed that he had a list of senior leaders who were sidelined by Modi. He had named LK Advani, Yashwant Sinha, Sushma Swaraj, and Arun Jaitley.
He added, “The words pressure and torture were not used by me in the said context as sought to be projected in the show cause notice.” He further stated that he held Modi, Swaraj and Jaitley in high esteem and had no ill will against them.
Requesting the EC to accept his "interim reply", Stalin asked the EC to permit him to give a detailed reply after receiving the full text of the speech in contention.
After days of fierce campaigning by the BJP-backed AIADMK and the DMK-led Opposition, voting concluded in the Tamil Nadu Assembly election on Tuesday, 6 April. A turnout of 71.79 percent was recorded till 7pm.
(With inputs from The News Minute.)