The Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) on Sunday lodged a complaint against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the re-telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Madison Square Garden speech in New York on television channels.
The complaint has asked the Election Commission to treat this telecast as a case of paid news, alleging that the BJP bought air time in violation of model code of conduct norms.
“Our complaint is based on the argument that a repeat telecast of Prime Minister’s speech on TV is a clear case of paid news no different from buying space in newspapers. Secondly, Prime Minister went to New York on an official visit. His speech as PM cannot be used for seeking votes,’’ said a Congress leader, not wishing to be named.
"Will the BJP show PM's Red Fort speech too?" he added. The party is expected to go public with this complaint on Monday.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari dismissed Congress’ charge as yet another effort of mudslinging.
"Madison square speech was made at a private event. It wasn't a national or an official programme. We don't need any lesson of morality from the Congress," Bhandari said.
Interestingly, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar had also on Sunday accused Modi of misusing PM’s post by telecasting his speech made at Madison Square to garner votes in the state assembly polls.
PM Narendra Modi, during his US visit, had addressed a largely Indian-American sold out crowd of 20,000 at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York on September 28.
It was one of the largest public addresses by an Indian PM overseas and garnered attention from global media as well.