Soon after it received complaint against BJP’s controversial advertisements published in the dailies of poll-bound Bihar, the Election Commission on Friday imposed ban on its two advertisements. The leaders of ‘Grand Allaince’ had submitted a complaint against BJP’s advertisements before the poll panel, the same day when a BJP delegation too had moved EC, alleging that leaders of CM Nitish Kumar-led ‘Grand Alliance’ were trying to polarise voters of Bihar on communal lines.
In a strongly-worded advisory to Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar Ajay Naik, the Commission asked him to ensure that the two advertisements are not published in any newspaper or journal from Saturday onwards till the election process is over.
The advertisements had alleged RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar planning to transfer the quota meant for Dalits and EBCs to the minorities. Another advertisement had accused the incumbent alliance of indulging in “votebank politics”.
The two advertisements have already been published prominently in Hindi dailies brought out from Patna.
Beside its order to the state poll officer, the Election Commission also asked the state CEO to inform the Bihar BJP unit that such advertisements should not be published or broadcast.
According to the reports, the poll officials in the state will also check whether the name and details of the printer and publisher of the advertisements have been printed on the face of it as per the provisions of Section 127 A of the Representation of the People Act.
In a related development, the ECI also sought report on BJP president Amit Shah’s controversial statement from its state unit. While submitting its complaint, the ‘Grand Alliance’ leaders had sought action against Mr. Shah on his statement where he said that the “crackers will be burst in celebration in Pakistan” if by any chance BJP lose the Bihar assembly polls.
“We have sought report from district magistrates of East and West Champaran regarding the remark of BJP President Amit Shah,” Additional Chief Electoral Officer R Lakshmanan told the press in Patna.
BJP-led four-party NDA and the incumbent CM Nitish Kumar-led JD(U)-RJD-Congress ‘Grand Alliance’ are in a pitched battle in the ongoing polls for Bihar Assembly. The polling for its last two phases is scheduled to be held on November 1 and November 5, before the results are declared on November 8.
(With inputs from the PTI)