Defending its senior leader MK Stalin for his comments against AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa, the DMK today said the Deputy Chief Minister had only made a "true and fair comment" on her marital status, which could "never be construed as defamatory or derogatory".
Replying to a EC notice to Stalin, DMK's legal wing secretary R S Bharathy said "a statement is not defamatory when it is true. It is a fact that she continues to remain single. The status is not at all denigrated in the statement".
The EC had issued a notice on Sunday on the basis of a complaint by AIADMK recently. AIADMK had complained to the EC saying Stalin had been quoted as saying that since Jayalalithaa was not married, she was not interested in funding other women's weddings.
"The entire speech explains the importance of marriage assistance to unmarried girls who hail from poor background in
Tamil Nadu," the reply, addressed to R K Srivastava, Secretary, EC, New Delhi, said.
Jayalalithaa "envies" Karunanidhi and his family because she does not have a family, the reply alleged.
It said that the scheme, first introduced by DMK in 1989 with a financial assistance of Rs 5,000, was "totally stopped"
by Jayalalithaa in 1991. While DMK revived it in 1996, Jayalalithaa stopped it in 2001, it said.
Contending that Stalin's speech should be understood in the context, it said AIADMK advocate Manoj Pandian, who had filed the complaint, had truncated and taken out a portion.
"It should also be understood that such an important policy decision made by the DMK government providing marriage assistance was carelessly and without foresight discontinued by AIADMK government," the reply said.
"The entire speech of Stalin should be read and understood as the reflection of anguish expressed by the members of
general public against the discontinuance by Jayalalithaa of such a noble scheme meant to help the girls of marriageable
age," it said.
Further, "the unsubstantiated and villifying remarks" made by Jayalalithaa should also be read before reading the
speech of Stalin in order to understand the context in which the statements were made. "Hence, we request the ECI to drop the proceedings," it said.
Earlier, the EC had slapped notices on Jayalalithaa and her ally and DMDK founder Vijayakant for allegedly making personal remarks against Karunanidhi.