EC bars DMK’s A Raja from campaigning for 48 hours; tells him not to ‘lower dignity of women’

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New Delhi, April 1 (PTI): The Election Commission on Thursday banned DMK leader A Raja from campaigning for 48 hours after finding him guilty of violating the model code of conduct by making alleged derogatory remarks against Tamil Nadu chief minister K Palaniswami.

In its order, the poll panel reprimanded Raja and removed his name from the list of DMK’s “star campaigners” and debarred him from campaigning for 48 hours “with immediate effect”.

“The Commission also advises you to be watchful and not to make intemperate, indecent, derogatory, obscene remarks and lower the dignity of women in future during election campaign,” the order read.

The order did not specify the exact time the ban would end, but if the communication was received by Raja this afternoon, he cannot campaign till the afternoon of April 3.

There have been instances where the EC has mentioned the exact time when the ban would end.

The 48-hour ban means that Raja would not be able to address any public meetings, rallies, press conferences or even give media interviews until April 3.

If a leader is a “star campaigner”, his campaigning expenditure are borne by the party and not by the candidate himself.

Assembly polls will be held in Tamil Nadu on April 6 in a single phase for which campaigning would end in the evening of April 4.

According to the order, Raja had submitted an interim reply on March 31, denying the allegations and had asked for a copy of full text of his “alleged abusive speech”, copy of the complaint made by AIADMK and had requested for an opportunity to give a detailed reply.

He had sought personal hearing with his advocate.

Noting that his reply was not satisfactory, the EC said that asking for more details and time to represent was “an attempt to buy time which the Commission cannot afford to give in the midst of elections”.

In its notice to Raja earlier, the EC had reproduced portions of his speeches made  on March 26  at Thousand Lights assembly constituency.

Referring to his speeches, the EC pointed out that Raja had allegedly said that (DMK leader MK) “Stalin is a child of good relationship and good birth while Palaniswami is a child of bad relationship and a premature born child”.

The EC also referred to some other remarks made by Raja against the state CM.

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