The BJP has once again gone to the Election Commission of India, complaining against the Congress. The party has knocked on the doors of the poll body due to an advertisement by the Congress-ruled Karnataka government in Telangana edition dailies, which are circulated in poll-bound state, demanding criminal proceedings against Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah.
Projecting what the Siddaramaiah government claims to be the ‘Karnataka model’, the advertisement’s timing was of objection to the BJP. According to the BJP complaint, the Congress government projected its “illusionary success” claiming it brought “progress and prosperity” in the last six months in Karnataka. The BJP not only questioned the timing but also the advertisements being in Telugu — the language spoken in the poll-bound state instead of Kannada. The charge BJP has brought against the grand old party is that through such ads, they are “alluring the voters” for Congress.
Calling it both “illegal” and “unethical”, the BJP says, “…the ruling party of Karnataka is also contesting elections in Telangana. The Commission may like to note that the timing and context of such an advertisement is a cheap, blatant, and an ugly attempt by Indian National Congress to influence the voters of Telangana.”
The Karnataka government, which is ruled by the Congress, has published such advertisements on November 25, 26, and 27 in four Telugu and three English dailies along with one Hindi newspaper, claims the BJP. While the saffron party has already complained to the Chief Electoral Officer in Telangana, the party is upset at no action being taken by him.
Highlighting various clauses of the Model Code of Conduct, which remains in place till the date of polling in poll-bound states, the BJP argued, “The government of Karnataka has no justifiable reasons for advertising in newspapers that too in Telangana edition of Telugu dailies on taxpayers’ money of Karnataka.” The BJP insisted that the publication of these advertisements violates Supreme Court set norms in “letter and spirit”.
It further argued that the publications also violate sections of the Representation of Peoples Act as well as sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Hence, the BJP has demanded that the EC issue directions to file criminal complaints against Siddaramaiah as well as other ministers in their personal capacity, invoking provisions of Section 123 of the RP Act, 1951, and prosecute them. Meanwhile, it has also asked to restrain the Karnataka government from publicising any such advertisements here on.
Earlier, the BJP approached the poll body accusing Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of flouting the 48-hour silence period for tweeting about the Rajasthan elections on the day of voting. The BJP also went to the EC for Gandhi’s ‘Panauti’ remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the campaign trail in Rajasthan.
With inputs from News18