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ECI Asks AAP to Modify its Election Campaign Song “Jail ke Jawab Vote Se”

ECI Asks AAP to Modify its Election Campaign Song “Jail ke Jawab Vote Se”

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, Apr 28: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has banned the Aam Aadmi Party’s Lok Sabha election campaign song, ‘Jail ke jawab mein hum vote denge’ and has asked the party to modify its content as it showed the ruling BJP and central investigation agencies in a bad light.

The ECI in its notice to the AAP on Sunday said it required to modify the campaign song as per the Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994 and ECI guidelines and resubmit after modification, for the certification.

“The phrase “jail ke jawab me hum vote denge” showing an aggressive mob holding the photo of Arvind Kejriwal showing him behind bars, casts aspersions on the Judiciary. Further, the said phrase appears several times in the advertisement which contravenes the provisions of ECI Guidelines and Rule 6(1\(g) of Programme and Advertising Codes prescribed under the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994,” said the ECI.

Addressing a press conference, senior AAP leader Atishi showing the ECI notification said, “It is probably the first time that the EC has imposed a ban on a party’s campaign song.” According to the EC, she said, the song shows the ruling party and investigation agencies in a bad light.

“The BJP has now used its another weapon, Election Commission of India, against us. First it arrests CM Arvind Kejriwal in a false case, with a motive to stop him from campaigning for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Now it is plotting to stop our campaign song also. This is shocking…,” Atishi said addressing a press conference.

Showing a paper, which she claimed was sent by the commission, Atishi said, “It says that this song is a criticism of the ruling government. The song nowhere mentions the BJP. It only talks about tanashahi… So now the ECI also agrees that the BJP government means dictatorship. The visuals of the songs are taken from real incidents that have taken place. It is shocking that the BJP is now even trying to stop the Opposition from campaigning.”

Atishi said the AAP would submit its response to the commission.

Ms Atishi, who is also a Delhi government minister, accused the EC of not acting on poll code violations committed by the BJP. “If the BJP does dictatorship, it is right. But if someone talks about it, that is wrong. This shows that democracy is in danger. I want to urge the EC to act on the (poll code) violations committed by the BJP and not stop campaigns of opposition parties,” she said.

The AAP’s over two-minute campaign song has been penned and sung by AAP MLA Dilip Pandey. The song was released at the party headquarters on Thursday.

According to AAP officials, the BJP had complained to the commission about the song. “Through the present representation, your kind attention for immediate intervention is brought to the illegal and manifestly mala fide act of AAP for creating, publishing and propagating uncertified video song, titled as “Jail Ka Jawab Vote Se” with the sole ill intention of tarnishing the image of the NDA Government and its other leaders by circulating it through various social media platforms, in complete derogation of Model Code of Conduct and the provisions of Representation of Peoples Act…” read the BJP complaint. Citing orders of the Supreme Court, the BJP complaint said the AAP had used “unparliamentary” words such as “Tanashahi, Gunda Party, Chhot denge” targeting the BJP government at the Centre.

“This political advertisement is clearly in violation of MCC to unfairly prejudice the candidates of BJP by making unverified and false allegations… Further, the video says “Jail Ka Jawab Vote Se”, which is just to influence the ensuing elections by the AAP and its leaders,” the BJP complaint further read.

“Unchecked/uncertified falsehood by Aam Aadmi Party have distorted the level playing field, which is a sine qua non for a free and fair election. The Election Commission may immediately take cognizance of the corrupt practices of AAP and its leaders and direct immediate withdrawal of the said video from across the social media platforms and take strict action against AAP in the matter,” added the complaint signed by Brijesh Rai, office secretary of the Delhi BJP.

Delhi will vote on May 25 in the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections.




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