Chennai: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader A Raja apologised for offensive remarks against Tamil Nadu chief minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader E Palaniswami. Issuing a statement on Twitter, Raja said he was "greatly pained" after reading the news about his remarks in the newspapers.
The DMK leader also said that his remarks were "misrepresented" and only portions of it were carried by media organisations, and apologised to the chief minister if he was hurt. Raja said he did not intend to hurt anyone. The politician said his intention was not to attack Palaniswami's personal life, and that he was only comparing their political careers.
Raja also said that he discussed the issue with his party chief MK Stalin. Earlier, addressing a press conference, the DMK leader said he was hurt that the chief minister choked up during an election rally on Sunday. The remarks, allegedly about the chief minister and his mother, made the AIADMK leader emotional at an election rally. Palaniswami said that a mother occupied a respectable position in society and anyone who denigrated women would be punished by God.
The ruling party also filed a case against Raja for allegedly making vulgar personal remarks against the chief minister. The case was filed based on a complaint to the state chief electoral officer (CEO) which was forwarded to the Greater Chennai Police, commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal said. The AIADMK even knocked the doors of the Election Commission with a plea to debar Raja from campaigning for the April 6 Assembly elections. Party workers also staged protest in Salem and Karur districts.
The AIADMK's ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also hit out at Raja for his comments, with Union minister Smriti Irani alleging "DMK does not respect women". DMK president MK Stalin, without mentioning anyone's name, said that during campaign, partymen must make dignified comments, saying rivals would distort and edit speeches.