The ruling AIADMK government has filed a defamation case against DMK supremo MK Stalin over his speech targetting Minister of Fisheries Jayakumar alleging that the latter was involved in corruption. the government of Tamil Nadu filed a defamation case against Stalin citing the DMK's leader's speech at Royapuram on January 10 where he alleged that there was corruption worth Rs 30 crores in the procurement of walkie-talkies for fishermen. A government order noted that Stalin's statements were untrue and accused him of making the speech intentionally against the interest of the public good.
Further, the government order asked the City Public Prosecutor, Chennai to file a complaint under Section 199 CrPc against the DMK supremo. It is pertinent to point out that the AIADMK government had filed a defamation case against Stalin earlier in January for making accusations against Minister SP Velumani. Targetting the AIADMK for the alleged corruption has been one of the central points in Stalin's campaign as the road to the Assembly polls heats up in the state.
The DMK has claimed that the Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar - who is AIADMK MLA from the Royapuram constituency - will lose deposit in the upcoming elections. The move to reserve Royapuram seat came while Congress' former chief Rahul Gandhi was campaigning in the state. In a sharp response to DMK, Jayakumar challenged DMK president MK Stalin to contest against him from Royapuram.
Fisheries Minister Jayakumar said, "Royapuram constituency people have elected me five times and for the sixth time too, they will elect me. I challenge the DMK president to contest against me in Royapuram if he has the guts."
Earlier, while campaigning in Royapuram, Stalin alleged that the area witnessed no development despite Jayakumar being a minister for several years. "Fisheries Minister Jayakumar has also previously served as the Assembly speaker. Despite all this, the area does not even have basic infrastructure. Most people here belong to the fisherman community. Yet, they face many hardships to receive benefits of the fisherman welfare schemes such as subsidy for new boats," Stalin had said.
The two warring factions in AIADMK - of Deputy CM O Pannerselvam (OPS) and CM E Palaniswamy (EPS), reconciled after the party named incumbent E Palaniswamy as its CM candidate and O Panneerselvam as the chief of the 11-member steering committee. With AIADMK announcing it will continue its national alliance with BJP, the saffron party is yet to officially announce its state-level alliance. Meanwhile, ex-CM Karunanidhi's successor - DMK chief MK Stalin eyes his maiden CM term as DMK cannot afford to lose a third straight Assembly election after sweeping the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with 38 seats.