Namakkal/Salem, Apr 3 UNI | 4 months ago

AIADMK Supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today slammed the Election Commission (EC) for imposing 'unjust' and 'stiff' restrictions and said her party would move the Court challenging these norms.

Addressing an election meeting at Namakkal and Salem, she said as per the norms issued by the EC for the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, if the candidate was present or his/her name was spelt by the party leader or any star campaigner during election meetings, the entire expenditure incurred for that meeting or rally would be included in the candidate's expenditure.

"The EC's order is strange and injust. How can it be justified to include in the candidate's expenditure if the public comes to attend election meetings/rallies at their own expenses and in their own vehicle?' she asked.

She alleged due to such restrictions imposed by the EC in this polls, the AIADMK candidate could not attend today's meeting.

Observing the EC, during the elections, had been issuing such directives that paralyses the functioning duly elected government, Ms Jayalalithaa said "even if we want to issue a small order, we have to seek the permission of the EC".

"This is anti-democratic', she added.

'But now the EC had created a situation wherein the candidate cannot be present in election campaign meetings.

"Moreover, the EC has imposed restrictions that the name of the candidate should also not be spelt. Neither his name or photos should figure in any of the election campaign meeting posters or banners," Ms Jayalalithaa said.

'Such acts of the EC were a mockery of democracy', she said.

'Because of such stringent restrictions by the EC, I cannot not introduce my party's candidate to the voters,' she said and appealed to the party workers to vote for her Party's Two Leaves symbol.

She said the EC had also imposed 'strange' and 'stringent' restrictions on poll graffitis, banners and festoons during camapigning, which had been part and parcel of election camapign for the last several decades.

This was the 20th election meeting addressed by Ms
Jayalalithaa and the first after all the 40 AIADMK candidates filed their nomination papers on Monday.
Reacting to Ms Jayalalithaa's charge, Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar said no new rules have been imposed and it was only an existing rule'

"Since the AIADMK nominees have filed their nominations, they have become official candidates.

'So it's quite natural that any publicity for the candidate, including introduction at the stage by the star campaigners, will be treated as poll expenses and included in the candidate's expenditure", he added.

(Posted on 03-04-2014)