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BJP Running Communal Ads In Karnataka, Cong Tells EC

Bid to vitiate atmosphere a week before assembly elections, says Cong delegation.

New Delhi, May 3

A delegation of Congress leaders today met the Election Commission officials and demanded immediate action against the BJP, alleging that the saffron party had issued advertisements in clear violation of the model code of conduct and criminal law.

The delegation comprising senior party leaders Abhishek Singhvi, Rajiv Shukla and Pramod Tiwari apprised the officials about the advertisements issued by the BJP. They alleged the advertisements aimed to “vitiate and communalise” the atmosphere in Karnataka a week before the state assembly elections.

“We apprised the Election Commission about the highly objectionable advertisements taken out by the BJP in Karnataka,” Singhvi told reporters after the meeting.

“They are not only a direct violation of the Model Code of Conduct, but it is a criminal act. They are a clear violation of the criminal law in India. We will also file a criminal complaint and lodge an FIR under the criminal law,” he said.

The Congress leader claimed that it was happening in a “brazen manner” and a ban must be imposed on them immediately.

He said the EC officials heard them patiently and took the issue seriously. “The EC has assured us of looking into the issue and action,” he said.

“This is clearly a sign of defeat by the BJP and of their frustration,” Singhvi claimed.

The Congress delegation also handed over a memorandum to the EC along with details of the “objectionable” advertisements taken out by the BJP.

The memorandum said the EC, the watchdog of free and fair elections, was duty-bound to take cognisance and direct registration of offences against all who directly and indirectly indulged in publishing baseless advertisements with an intent to misguide voters and obtain votes unfairly.

“These advertisements have been issued knowingly and willfully with the intention of consolidating votes on basis of religion and to gain electoral advantage over other political parties,” it alleged.

“In view of the above, it is also just and necessary for this commission to take cognizance of these illegal and unlawful acts and prosecute responsible bodies and individuals in accordance with law,” it said.

“We hereby request the Hon’ble Election Commission in accordance with parliamentary and democratic traditions, to enquire into and take strict and prompt action in the said matter against BJP Karnataka for violation of prevailing laws, including MCC, RP Act, 1951 and IPC,” the memorandum added.

The Congress urged for action against those involved in the alleged violations and to take action against members of the MCMC for approving such advertisements. It also said that free and fair elections should be held in Karnataka.

Shukla alleged that the BJP was dubbing Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, who holds a constitutional post, as murderers which was a criminal offence.

“They are trying to vitiate and communalise the atmosphere,” he alleged, adding that the BJP feared “imminent defeat” in Karnataka and that was why they were resorting to such measures.

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