In a sharp attack on the Election Commission, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa on Thursday deplored the restrictions imposed in calculation of poll expenses and declared her party would move the court challenging the norms.
Coming down heavily on the EC’s methodology of calculating expenses of election rallies, she disapproved of the debiting of expenses of rallies organised by the party to the candidate in the event of he or she being introduced from the dais.”It is nothing but mockery of democracy. Because of this rule, I cannot even introduce my party candidates. I cannot even mention the candidate’s name,” she said, addressing an election rally.
The yesteryear Tamil ceulluolid heroine and the sole “star” campaigner for AIADMK assailed arch rival DMK for accusing her party of ferrying people to her rallies, and asserted that “people throng my rallies on their own”.
She questioned the action of EC in including expenses of transport incurred by people coming to attend her rallies to candidates’ account and alleged that “it is surprising that EC is trying to regulate people coming to the AIADMK rallies”.
“Even to make a small announcement, there is a need to get the Election Commission approval. This is against democracy. Similarly, AIADMK candidate is absent due to EC rule. Not only that, you cannot mention candidate’s name and he is representing from this constituency,” Jayalalithaa said.
“That is, even if the party founder is on the stage along with the contesting candidate or his photograph during the campaign, the expenses incurred will be included under the candidate’s account. This is unjustifiable. This is a mockery of democracy. AIADMK will move the High Court challenging EC restrictions,” she said.
“Even if people come to my campaign on their own, how it will be justifiable to include their expenses in the candidate’s account?” she asked.