EC bars DMK leader A Raja from campaigning for 48 hrs

Days after DMK leader A Raja issued an apology following a controversy over his derogatory remarks against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, the Election Commission (EC) on Thursday, April 1, reprimanded him for violation of the model code of conduct, debarred him from the poll campaign for 48 hours, and removed his name from the list of star campaigners. Raja moved the Madras High Court against the EC order but his plea was dismissed. “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 the election campaign,” said an EC order, dated April 1, addressing Raja. The High Court dismissed Raja’s plea for urgent hearing of a writ petition challenging the EC order. A mention to this effect was made by Raja’s senior counsel V Shanmugasundaram before the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy. He pleaded the request might be heard immediately considering the availability of a short period of just three days for canvassing. A categorical “no” was the reply of the CJ. Assembly polls will be held in Tamil Nadu on April 6 in a single phase for which campaigning would end on April 4 evening.

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