Mumbai: The Congress and NCP have taken objection to an advertisement published on the day of civic poll voting on Tuesday in some newspapers, featuring actor Aamir Khan appealing to Mumbaikars to vote for transparency and good governance. The opposition parties have alleged that the ad is a violation of the model code of conduct.
However, the State Election Commission said it will look into the matter only if someone files a complaint. Notably, the commission has banned political parties and candidates from issuing advertisements in print and electronic media until after end of the campaign.
Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesman Sachin Sawant claimed that 'Mumbai First', the organisation which gave the full-page ad in the newspapers on Tuesday, is closely associated with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. He alleged that the advertisement is a blatant violation of the code of conduct.
"Maharashtra SEC must take action," he demanded and said that he would meet State Election Commissioner J S Saharia on Wednesday with a complaint. "Finding loopholes in law and side-stepping rules and regulations is a criminal mindset. The advertisement is low-level politics of BJP," Sawant charged.
NCP spokesman Nawab Malik said as per the new notification of Election Commission, no advertisement can be published 48 hours prior to the polling day. "BJP has a role to play in today's ads. They (ads) are violation of the code of conduct," Malik alleged. He also said that NCP will take up the issue with the SEC and ensure an FIR is filed against those involved.
Meanwhile, Saharia said his office will take action only if someone approaches it with a complaint. The advertisement, which has appeared in English, Marathi and Hindi dailies, prominently uses words like 'transparency', 'change', 'pardarshita' and 'parivartan'.
These words were used by a party during poll campaign. 'Transparency' was the ruling BJP's main poll plank. Asked about it, Saharia said, "An appeal to voters is fine. If there is a direct campaign by a particular party then only it can be objectionable. If someone approaches EC with a complaint, we will look into it."
A person in his or her personal capacity can communicate to others regarding exercising their voting right and there should not be a blanket objection to it, Saharia said.
Updated Date: Feb 21, 2017 17:37 PM