EC asks Karnataka CEO to take immediate action on DMK's complaint against Karandlaje

Shobha Karandlaje
Shobha Karandlaje

New Delhi | The Election Commission on Wednesday directed the Karnataka chief electoral officer (CEO) to take immediate and appropriate action on the DMK's complaint about alleged model code violation by Union minister and BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje.

The poll panel also sought a compliance report on the matter within 48 hours.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has sought action against Karandlaje for alleging that a person from Tamil Nadu was responsible for the IED blast at the Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru on March 1.

This is the first action ordered by the EC against a key political figure this Lok Sabha pols.

In its complaint to the Election Commission earlier in the day, the DMK said that the minister's statement generalised the people of Tamil Nadu as "extremists".

During a protest in Bengaluru on Tuesday, she had said that "law and order in Karnataka has deteriorated. People who come from Tamil Nadu plant bombs here, people from Delhi chant 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans and people who come from Kerala were involved in acid attacks."

She later apologised for her remarks and said she was retracting her comments.

The Madurai police has booked her for "promoting enmity" between different groups, while her remarks had drawn sharp criticism from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin and other DMK leaders.

TN police book Shobha Karandlaje for "promoting enmity"

Madurai/Bengaluru | The Madurai Police on Wednesday booked BJP leader and Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje for "promoting enmity" between different groups, following her claims that people from Tamil Nadu plant bombs in Karnataka, remarks which had drawn criticism from Chief Minister M K Stalin.

The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu approached the Election Commission against Karandlaje, accusing her of violating the Model Code of Conduct and the Representation of People Act.

The BJP leader apologised for remarks and announced retracting them.

"To my Tamil brothers & sisters, I wish to clarify that my words were meant to shine light, not cast shadows. Yet I see that my remarks brought pain to some - and for that, I apologize. My remarks were solely directed towards those trained in the Krishnagiri forest, linked to the Rameshwaram Cafe blast. To anyone from Tamil Nadu effected (sic), from the depths of my heart, I ask your forgiveness. Furthermore, I retract my previous comments," she said in a post on 'X' late on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, she had said in Bengaluru that "law and order in Karnataka has deteriorated. People who come from Tamil Nadu plant bombs here, people from Delhi chant 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans and people who come from Kerala were involved in acid attacks."

Meanwhile, the Cyber Crime wing of Madurai Police booked the senior BJP leader under various sections of the IPC, including section 153 (a), which pertains to "promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony."

The FIR was lodged against her based on a complaint, police said.

Meanwhile, in its complaint with the EC, filed by DMK Organisation Secretary RS Bharathi, the party said while the NIA, probing the Rameshwaram Cafe blast in Bengaluru "has so far not been able to identify the culprit," Karandlaje had "made the basesless accusation that the bomb was planted by people from Tamil Nadu."

"The statement attempts to promote feelings of enmity and hatred between the people of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu... it generalises the people of Tamil Nadu as extremists and seeks to create hostility and enmity between the two communities, viz the Tamilians (Sic) and the Kannadigas," it alleged.

The party urged the EC to act against the Union Minister for 'violating' both the MCC and relevant sections of the Representation of People Act.

LDF, UDF condemn Shobha Karandlaje's 'hate remarks' towards Kerala people

Thiruvananthapuram | Kerala's ruling Left and the Opposition UDF on Wednesday voiced strong condemnation against the alleged "hate remarks" made by Union Minister and BJP leader Shobha Karandlaje towards the people of the state.

The two fronts have accused the Karnataka leader of attempting to destroy religious harmony through such statements.

Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, V D Satheesan, has demanded an apology from the Union Minister, while senior Left leader and CPI state secretary Binoy Viswom has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address the hate remarks made by the BJP leader.

Their statements came a day after the Union Minister, during a BJP agitation in Bengaluru, claimed that people who come from Kerala were involved in acid attacks in Karnataka.

During an agitation by the BJP against the attack on a trader for allegedly playing 'Hanuman Chalisa' during the 'Azaan' (Islamic call for prayer) in Bengaluru, Karandlaje on Tuesday said, "Law and order in Karnataka has deteriorated. People who come from Tamil Nadu plant bombs here, people from Delhi chant 'Pakistan Zindabad' slogans and people who come from Kerala were involved in acid attacks."

"The Union Minister stated that people from Kerala are perpetrating acid attacks on girls in Karnataka. Shobha Karandlaje, who retracted her comments against people from Tamil Nadu in relation to the Rameswaram cafe blast, is refusing to withdraw her statements against the people of Kerala", Viswam said in a statement here.

He alleged that the derogatory comment made by the Union Minister tarnished the reputation of people of Kerala.

"The people of Kerala are anxiously awaiting Prime Minister Modi's response, as he frequently visits the state, conducts roadshows, and makes unsubstantiated promises to the people," Viswam said.

In his statement, Satheesan urged Karandlaje to publicly apologise for her comments directed at people of Kerala.

"If she fails to retract her remarks and issue an apology, the Congress and the UDF are contemplating legal action, which may include approaching the Election Commission", he said.

As the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu approached the Election Commission against Karandlaje, accusing her of violating the Model Code of Conduct and the Representation of People Act, she apologised to the people of Tamil Nadu for her remarks and said she was retracting her comments.

The Madurai police has booked her for "promoting enmity" between different groups, while her remarks have drawn sharp criticism from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin and other DMK leaders.

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