Former Union Minister A Raja on Monday apologized to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami for his remarks regarding the latter’s birth during campaigning. Raja had been facing huge protests by the AIADMK cadre across the state and even DMK MP Kanimozhi had expressed her displeasure regarding the statement.
Raja, while addressing reporters on Monday, read out a statement saying if Palaniswami was hurt by his comments, he will not hesitate to issue an apology. “I never intended to insult the Chief Minister’s mother. I was sad to know that he (Edappadi) was hurt by my comments which were edited and put out for political reasons. I wholeheartedly apologize to the Chief Minister. Again, I would like to say that my comments were never personal and were just a comparison of two public personalities.”
The AIADMK had submitted a complaint against Raja a day after he made the remark. AIADMK’s women’s wing raised slogans, burnt effigies and demanded the arrest of the DMK leader.
On Sunday, the city police had booked Raja. City Police Commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal said the action was initiated based on the directions of the EC. “Cases have been filed under the Indian Penal Code and Representation of People Act,” he added.
#AIADMK‘s women’s wing raised slogans and burnt the effigy of former union minister A Raja for his abusive comments on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. The Chennai Police have booked Raja under three sections including 294 of the IPC. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/nYrWpUfsVt
— Janardhan Koushik (@koushiktweets) March 28, 2021
The video of Raja making remarks against Edappadi went viral across social media and netizens slammed the DMK for shielding such men.
Raja’s comments came a couple of days after Dindigul I Leoni, one of their party’s speakers, made a sexist remark during a campaign in Coimbatore. Leoni had said women’s hips are becoming like barrels as they drink milk from foreign cows.
Following such comments, DMK president MK Stalin had issued a release urging his party’s leaders to maintain dignity while making public speeches and said the rivals would distort and edit the statements for political benefit.
தி.மு.க.வினரின் பேச்சுகளைத் திரித்து, வெட்டி – ஒட்டி, தவறான பொருள்படும்படி செய்து வெற்றியைத் தடுக்க நினைத்து மூக்குடைபட்டவர்கள், இப்போதும் தோல்வி பயத்தால் அதே பாணியை மேற்கொண்டிருக்கிறார்கள்.
தி.மு.க.வினர் சொற்களை கவனத்துடன் பயன்படுத்த வேண்டும்.
கண்ணியக் குறைவை தலைமை ஏற்காது! pic.twitter.com/KWY16NTVTS
— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) March 27, 2021
“While campaigning, keep our party’s tradition and dignity in mind. Before the victory, the route for victory is also important. Arignar Anna stressed duty, dignity, and discipline and among these three things, dignity is the first thing the speakers should follow. Party’s high command will never accept such degrading statements. There are people who try to cut and distort the statements of the party to make them sound wrong,” Stalin had said.
“Whoever the political leaders are, it is condemnable to insult and degrade women in a personal way. If everyone keeps this in mind, it is good for society. That is the social justice endorsed by the Dravidian movement and Periyar,” DMK MP Kanomiozhi had said on Friday.
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswmai on Sunday almost broke down and said anyone who denigrates women would be punished by God. Reacting to Raja’s comment while campaigning in Chennai, Edappadi said, “Think about what kind of a situation our women and mothers would have to face if such people come to power. I urge all to think that if the Chief Minister is being targeted in such a manner, what will happen to common men and women if their party comes to power.”