The Election Commission on Monday issued a notice, returnable by 5 p.m. on Tuesday (December 3), to Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, seeking her explanation on why action should not be taken against her for allegedly violating the model code of conduct (MCC) provisions by making some poll promises.
The notice, given by the Commission, after going through a complaint and a CD that contained the speech of Ms. Jayalalithaa during her campaign on November 28 for Wednesday’s (December 4) by-poll from the Yercaud Assembly constituency, referred to sub para (vi) of para “II - Party in Power” of the MCC which stated: “From the time elections are announced by the Commission, Ministers and other authorities shall not- ( a ) announce any financial grants in any form or promises thereof;...... or ( c) make any promise of construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities etc; which may have the effect of influencing the voters in favour of the party in power.”
The notice referred to the complaint, which alleged that the Chief Minister, during her campaign for the AIADMK candidate (P. Saroja), made announcements of new schemes at Kootathupatti village which pertained to opening of new primary health centres in D. Perumapalayam and Ayothiyapattinam; veterinary hospitals in Minnampalli, Anuppur and A.N.Mangalam; a health sub centre in Neiyamalai; upgrading of a primary health centre in Thumbai to a 32-bed hospital; a new government arts college at Vazhapadi and the provision of drinking water facilities and other new projects in the Salem district.
The notice said that the Commission had seen a compact disc (CD) containing her speech wherein “it has been found that the same [her speech] is in the nature of alluding to different social and infrastructural requirements,” which had been brought to her notice and “finally, your speech concludes with a promise of providing whatever is required for the development of the area, by the government.”
No case against Minister
As for a notice issued about 10 days ago to Highways and Minor Ports Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami for having allegedly met Block Development Officer of the Yercaud Panchayat Union M. Jayaraman in violation of the code, an official in Chennai said the matter was dropped as it was found that the Minister did not meet the BDO.
However, it had been decided to go ahead with disciplinary action against the officer as he had gone to the Salem residence of the Minister.