Hearing on Stalin’s petition about Jayalalithaa’s photo

The generic word “Amma” not accompanied by any picture of a political personality need not be objected to on government premises/property as part of the name of a scheme.

This has been communicated by the Election Commission (EC) to the Chief Electoral Officer, Tamil Nadu. In the communication, the Commission said “there need be no interference with the gate of the MGR Memorial, Chennai, constructed in 2012, i.e. before the coming into force of the model code of conduct.”

Painting of leaves resembling the AIADMK symbol (Two Leaves) on Small Buses in Chennai “may be suitably covered so that it does not become mobile advertisements for that party.” The distribution of mixer/grinder etc should be stopped as was done in the case of distribution of television sets during the 2011 elections, the communication said.

EC counsel G. Rajagopalan produced a copy of the communication dated March 10 before Justice T. Raja when a petition by the DMK, represented by its Treasurer M.K. Stalin, came up for further hearing. The party had sought an interim direction to the EC to seal/screen/cover Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s photo and a lookalike of the AIADMK symbol painted on government property, including Small Buses. The Tamil Nadu government should be restrained from doing so in future.

The petitioner’s senior counsel, R. Viduthalai, said the model code of conduct could not be kept in abeyance. It should be implemented immediately. He objected to the clause in the communication relating to the MGR memorial.

The Advocate-General, A.L. Somayaji, objected to the clause pertaining to the painting of leaves on Small Buses. It was a total misconception. It had no resemblance to the AIADMK symbol at all, he said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Stalin has filed an additional affidavit stating that he was questioning the “arbitrary and mala fide” action of the State government by allowing the AIADMK symbol being conspicuously exhibited on State property at the cost of public exchequer. He said the representations of the party’s legal wing secretary, R.S. Bharathi, of October last year about, what he said, was the misuse of the government machinery for propagating the ruling party and that of the party’ s organising secretary, T.K.S. Elangovan may be read as part of his affidavit.

Mr. Justice Raja posted the matter for further hearing on March 17.

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