Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections: DMK’s A Raja issues apology to CM K Palaniswami for “insulting his mother”

Chennai: DMK MP A Raja on Monday (March 29) issued an apology to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami for his comments which were seen as derogatory to the latter’s mother.

Drawing a comparison between Palaniswami and DMK chief MK Stalin, Raja said that the former was an “illegimate child” and that the latter was a “legitimate child”.

Following his comment, Palaniswami turned emotional during a public rally on Sunday, in which citing Raja’s remark, he said that it was an insult to his mother.

Apologising for his remarks, Raja said that his words were “misunderstood” and “manipulated”.

Raja said he clarified in a public meeting in Gudalur in the district on Sunday that he did not intend to defame Palaniswami or his late mother, but was making a comparison between the leadership qualities of his party chief M K Stalin and the CM, using a children’s analogy.

“Still, I came across reports that the chief minister turned emotional at my remarks and I am deeply anguished over this. I express regret from the bottom of my heart for lines that were misunderstood,” Raja was quoted as saying by PTI.

“In fact, I have no hesitation to apologise to CM Palaniswami if he really felt hurt and (did not do it) for politics (turning emotional),” he added.

Seeking to clarify things with the CM, his party workers and others, Raja said his speech was not about the personal criticism of two leaders, but an estimation and comparison of two political figures in public life–Stalin and Palaniswami.

Raja’s apology has come after police booked him under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Representation of People Act for his remarks.

Raja’s remarks touched a raw nerve with the ruling AIADMK, with party workers staging state-wide protests demanding his arrest, even as his effigies were burnt in places like Salem, Palaniswami’s native district.

Elections to the 234 member Tamil Nadu assembly will be held on April 6.

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