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Congress urges ECI to stop ‘misleading and divisive’ advertisements

New Delhi, April 2 2024-

A Congress delegation on Tuesday approached the Election Commission of India (ECI) and sought its attention to various “violations being committed in the name of advertisements”.

The delegation comprising senior Congress leaders Salman Khurshid, Pawan Khera, and Gurdeep Sappal also brought to the poll body’s notice the pictures of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy in the various government schemes of the state, calling it a violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).

The delegation also complained to the ECI about the BJP’s advertisement campaign, alleging that the party is using cropped pictures to malign the image of the opposition leaders.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Khurshid said that they brought to the notice of the Commission “the violation being committed in Andhra Pradesh with Chief Minister’s pictures being used for the already prevailing government schemes there”.

He also said that the Election Commission was already seized of the matter.

According to Khurshid, the delegation told the Commission that no new scheme can be launched during the elections, nor can new beneficiaries be added during the process, to which the Commission agreed.

Khurshid also said that the delegation conveyed to the Commission about the wrong expenses being attributed to the party candidates in Tamil Nadu for the posters printed in Delhi and sent for campaigning purposes to the state.

He said the Commission told them that necessary instructions will be issued in this regard.

Congress spokesman Pawan Khera said that the delegation also brought to the notice of the Commission the “objectionable” hoardings and advertisements displayed in Delhi where caricatures of various opposition leaders have been drawn, showing them to be corrupt, while claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was cleaning up corruption.

He also said that the delegation raised the matter of fake and divisive news being circulated on social media through various handles and called for stopping the trend immediately.

AICC General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh said, “The Congress also complained about the BJP’s malicious attempts to link the Congress campaign to George Soros.”

Soros is a controversial billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist.

“This complaint covers other examples of false propaganda that target the INC as well. Not only are these materials patently false, they are also mala fide and knowingly defamatory. The ECI was requested to take immediate action against the authors of this low-level campaign, as well as issue instructions for its recall,” Ramesh said in a post on X.

Gurdeep Sappal said the party delegation also informed the Commission about the character assassination of various leaders using different actors.

The delegation demanded that no personal attacks should be allowed. Besides, it also demanded that fake and divisive news and surrogate advertisements must be stopped forthwith. (Agency)

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