Poll code violation: Jayalalithaa replies to EC
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has strongly denied that she made any specific promise of providing any of the requirements of voters in the Yercaud Assembly constituency, which will go to the bypoll on Wednesday.
In her response to the Election Commission’s notice issued to her on Monday, Ms Jayalalithaa, whose reply on the same day was made public on Tuesday, stated that she made a “general statement” that “whatever is required for the upliftment of the people in the area would be provided. It would not be correct to link the unrelated general statement with the requirements which were brought to my notice.” She maintained that there was no violation of the model code of conduct.
In its notice asking her to reply by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, the Commission sought her explanation why action should not be taken against her for allegedly violating provisions of the model code by making some poll promises during her campaign last week in the constituency. Ms. Jayalailthaa’s reply was addressed to Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath.
Pointing out that the Commission’s notice did not mention the name of the complainant, Ms. Jayalalithaa said that going by the contents of the complaint as mentioned in the notice, it was presumed that the complaint had been made by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an adversary and political rival of her party.
Giving a gist of her speech made in Tamil in her visit to Yercaud on November 28, the AIADMK leader said she had referred to various development schemes, already implemented and under implementation in the State, after she assumed charge as Chief Minister since May 2011. She had also adverted to various developmental schemes already implemented and under implementation in Yercaud.
Explaining that she mentioned in her speech that the requirements for the development of the Yercaud constituency had been brought to her notice, she said, “I emphatically deny that my speech was in the nature of alluding to different social and infrastructure requirements such as opening of new Health Centres etc.”
In her speech, she had not announced any financial grant in any form and did not make promise of construction of roads and provision of drinking water facilities to attract the model code.
Contending that the Commission’s notice proceeded on the basis of conjunctive reference to the requirements of the area and assurance to meeting development requirements of the area by the State government, Ms. Jayalalithaa asserted that there was no basis for coming to such a conclusion. Making the conjunctive reference was based on “mere surmise and suspicion and which is inadmissible in law, more so in the case of interpreting the Model Code of Conduct”.
Arguing that her Tamil speech had not been correctly reflected in the English translation, she reiterated that she had not violated sub para (vi) of para “II-Party in Power” and no action was warranted on that score.
Requesting the CEC to drop the proposed action, Ms. Jayalalithaa also brought to his notice that her name had been wrongly spelt in the notice sent to her.