Zee Media Bureau
Chennai: The Election Commission on Friday rejected Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa`s defence on poll code violation and asked her to be careful not to lure voters with new schemes, reports stated.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had on Tuesday replied to the Election Commission denying any violation of the model code of conduct and announcing any welfare schemes to lure voters ahead of the bypoll in Yercaud.
The Commission also asked various political parties, especially their leaders, to scrupulously follow the Model Code aimed at ensuring a level-playing field and not resort to any "subterfuge" to circumvent it.
"The Commission rejects the contention made in the reply of Ms J Jayalalithaa and has decided to advise her to be careful in future and not make such announcements of new schemes for electorate with a view to alluring them," said an EC order.
Before this on Monday, the EC had issued a notice to her for allegedly violating the model code of conduct ahead of December 4 bypolls in Yercaud.
In her reply to the EC, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister had said, “I made a general statement that whatever is required for the uplift 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.”
Jayalalitha ahad said it was presumed from the contents of the complaint in the notice that it was made by DMK, an adversary and political rival of AIADMK.
"My speeches to the electorate were in Tamil. I never made any promise or announcement of any new schemes in any of my speeches on November 28," she said, adding that she had only referred to development schemes already implemented and under implementation in the state after she assumed charge as the Chief Minister.
"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. I mentioned in my speech that the requirements for the development of Yercaud constituency have been brought to my notice," she said.
The Chief Minister held that she had only made a general statement that government would provide whatever was required for progress of the people in Yercaud constituency. "Hence, there was no violation of the model code of conduct," she said.
The EC notice was issued in response to a complaint filed by M Karunanidhi-led DMK in this regard.
In its petition to the Chief Election Commissioner and the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), the DMK sought action against Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for alleged violations of the model code of conduct and abuse of power during her campaigning for the Yercaud Assembly by-election recently.
DMK leaders TKS Elangovan, MP and I Paranthamen met the CEO and handed over a memorandum alleging that hundreds of schoolchildren from Government schools in Salem district, teachers and Education department officers were brought to the places visited by Jayalalithaa and made to stand for an indefinite period.
Holding the Chief Minister squarely responsible for the abuse of power and misuse of government machinery to assemble crowds, the memorandum sought appropriate action against Jayalalithaa, Education Minister, Education Secretary, Salem District Collector and other officials.
In another memorandum, the DMK leaders alleged that the Chief Minister in her rally speech at Minnampalli announced various schemes specific to the voters in the constituency in violation of the model code of conduct.
Holding that as Chief Minister, who holds the highest office in the State, she ought not to have made such promises aimed at influencing voters, the DMK said and demanded action for violation of the model code of conduct.