New Delhi: A delegation of the Delhi Congress, headed by Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Shri Subhash Chopra, today met the Election Commission at Nirvachan Sadan and submitted a memorandum, seeking the EC’s urgent intervention and necessary directions against the BJP for “malicious, illegal and defamatory advertising content” against the Congress party. Besides Shri Subhash Chopra, the delegation also included former Union Minister Shri Ajay Maken.
The Congress memorandum drew the attention of the Election Commission to the “publication of false and defamatory advertisements in various newspapers on 27.01.2020 across the National Capital Territory of Delhi containing blatantly offensive, false and defamatory content, being fully aware that the Model Code of Conduct (“MCC”) is in force”. (A copy of the memorandum is enclosed)
After meeting the Election Commission, Shri Subhash Chopra told the media that it was the Congress Government which made Delhi a world class city during its 15-year rule. He said that the BJP leaders through offensive speeches and advertisements were trying to create tension and malign the Congress party, which was brought to the notice of the Election Commission, as these were in clear violation of the Election Commission’s code of conduct directives. Shri Chopra said that BJP is rattled by the massive popularity the Congress party is getting in the Delhi Assembly election campaigns, and BJP’s lies and false propaganda will have no impact on Congress’ popularity and prospects in the Assembly elections. He said that the BJP was trying to whip up violence in Delhi through such offensive speeches as it had done against the students and others who protested against the divisive Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Shri Chopra said that he has requested the Election Commission to put a stop to such provocative language by the BJP to ensure peace in the Capital.
Shri Ajay Maken said that it was brought to the notice of the EC about the offensive language being used by BJP’s ‘star campaigners’, including Home Minister Amit Shah, Jag Pravesh Varma and Anurag Thakur, in the lanes and bylanes of Delhi to create a volatile situation, to communalize and polarize people as it is afraid of its impending defeat in Delhi.
Shri Subhash Chopra said that the Election Commission has promised that it will not allow the BJP to vitiate the atmosphere in Delhi. He said that the EC has called a meeting on 31st January, 2020 in which district observers have been called to discuss the situation followed by a meeting with the Police Commissioner and other concerned authorities. Shri Chopra said that the Congress was confident that the Election Commission will discharge its duty with full responsibility and will not allow the BJP to get away with its conspiracy.
Shri Ajay Maken said that the Election Commission has sought report from the Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi as notice to the star campaigners can be issued only by the Election Commission, and not by the CEO. He said that the EC has the power to stop the BJP star campaigners and also even cancel the candidature of the BJP candidates.
The Congress memorandum noted that “a bare perusal of these advertisements makes it apparent that they were published with a clear intent to malign the Congress Party by leveling false, malicious, unverified allegations and distortions against it and are, therefore, in clear violation of MCC. In fact, the advertisements are in violation of the directions passed by this Hon’ble Commission in its notification on Certification of Political advertisements [ECI No. 491/Paid News/2014 dated 07.02.2014] read with Rule 7 of the Cable Television Network Rules, 1994.”