BJP advertisement upsets CongressNovember 14th, 2008 - 6:17 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 14 (IANS) A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeal to voters has raised the hackles of the Congress over its seeming religious overtones even as Delhi’s top election officer vowed to probe the matter.The advertisement that appeared in major newspapers Friday says that the “Congress has chosen its vote bank over our lives…” and has photographs of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and BJP leaders L.K. Advani and Rajnath Singh.
“TADA scrapped, POTA repealed, (parliament terror attack suspect) Afzal’s sentence not executed, inquiry sought into (Delhi’s) Batla House encounter, Jamia University funds to defend terror accused, and illegally residing Bangaldeshis made voters” are the charges the advertisement heaps against the Congress.
It also accuses the Congress of creating discord over the Amarnath pilgrimage, challenging the existence of Lord Ram, insisting on the razing of Ram Setu and promoting religion-based reservation.
Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmad demanded that the Election Commission take action against the BJP.
“BJP is conceiving such advertisements to polarise the voters. The Election Commission should look into it and issue suo moto notice to them. Political parties must not undertake campaigns that create hate and division in the society,” Ahmad told IANS.
Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer Satbir Silas Bedi said she had not seen the advertisement but would raise the matter with the Election Commission.
“The Commission will decide how such advertisements can be allowed,” she said. “If found guilty, we will take appropriate action against the party concerned.”
Parvez Hashmi, the Congress candidate from Okhla constituency, said these were all “politically motivated campaigns.”
“Political parties should refrain from such campaigns,” he added.
Delhi BJP spokesperson Mewa Ram Arya, however, denied that there was any communal overtone in the advertisement.
“Terrorism is dangerous for the country and it has nothing to do with religion. The advertisements are against terrorism.”