EC notice to BJP on ads against Congress, AAP govts

EC notice to BJP on ads against Congress, AAP govts in Delhi; asks not to use it till further notice

BJ[P flag. (Reuters Photo)

Election Commission has issued a notice to BJP on a complaint filed by Congress against an advertisement the saffron party issued for the Delhi Assembly elections and barred it from repeating the advertisement till the poll body takes a decision on it.

A Congress delegation had submitted the complaint against the BJP advertisement with the text "15 years of loot by Congress. Five years of AAP's falsehood. Delhiites were hoodwinked" on January 28.

As the advertisement referred to corruption under the 15 years of Sheila Dikshit-led Congress governments in Delhi, Congress said the BJP has made "false, frivolous, baseless, unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations" against their party.

Also read — Anurag Thakur, Pravesh Verma removed as BJP star campaigners: EC

In its letter, BJP General Secretary Arun Singh, the Commission has given time till Friday 12 noon to explain its position about the advertisement as it cited Model Code of Conduct, which said that "criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or distortion shall be avoided".

"Commission, considering the gravity of the case, hereby, directs that advertisement in question shall not be repeated till such time a decision is taken," the notice issued on Thursday said.

Earlier, the EC had removed Union Minister Anurag Thakur and West Delhi MP Parvesh Verma from the list of BJP's star campaigners following controversial remarks while its Model Town candidate Kapil Mishra was banned from campaigning for 48 hours.

Thakur ran into trouble for his "shoot the traitors" sloganeering in a campaign meeting on Monday while Verma stoked a controversy on Tuesday claiming that lakhs of people are coming to the anti-CAA protest site of Shaheen Bagh and they could enter one's house to rape and murder their sisters and daughters. Mishra was pulled up for his comments against anti-CAA protesters in Shaheen Bagh and describing the February 8 polls as an "India vs Pakistan" contest. 

Also read — Now, BJP MP says Shaheen Bagh protesters can enter homes to rape and kill, provokes outrage

Separately, the EC also issued a general advisory to parties asking them not to make an appeal on the basis of caste or communal feelings of the electors.

"No activity, which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred or cause tension between different castes/communities/religious/linguistic groups, shall be attempted. No aspect of the private life, not connected with the public activities, of the leaders or workers of other parties is to be criticized," the advisory said citing Model Code of Conduct.

It also warned against using religious places like temples, mosques, churches and gurudwaras for election propaganda, including speeches, posters, music or electioneering. "The political parties and candidates should refrain from any deeds/action/utterances that may be construed as being repugnant to the honour and dignity of women," it added.