Grand alliance parties in Bihar have welcomed the Election Commission’s ban on two “inflammatory” newspaper advertisements by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi make an apology to the nation.
“We demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah apologise to people of Bihar and also to the entire nation. We also demand that a criminal complaint be lodged against PM Modi for using the name of castes and sub-castes,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told ANI on Friday.
The Janata Dal(U) said the BJP should seek an apology from the people of Bihar for trying to take them towards “caste and communal polarisation”.
“The ban imposed by EC on these advertisements prove that BJP was violating the model code of conduct and hence an FIR should be registered against BJP leaders responsible for this,” JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi said.
He said that since BJP’s “gameplan has been exposed”, “they should tender an unconditional apology to the people of the state for their misdeed”.
On Friday, the EC banned the two ads released by the BJP in vernacular dailies after the JD(U) and the Congress pointed out that they violated the poll code.
The first ad accused RJD chief Lalu Prasad and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar of “snatching the plate of Dalits” by trying to transfer reservation benefits meant for Dalits and EBCs to minorities.
The other one, on ‘voton ki kheti (vote bank politics)’, obliquely accused the grand alliance parties of “sowing terror to reap votes.”
Confirming the EC decision, Bihar’s additional chief electoral officer R Lakshmanan said, “The EC found the contents, tone and tenor of the advertisements inflammatory and against the provisions of the model code. The commission has directed that these two advertisements, and similar ones, will not be allowed to be printed in any newspaper with immediate effect till the conclusion of poll process in Bihar.”
The remaining two phases of the five-phase polls in 16 of 38 districts of Bihar are to be held on November 1 and 5.
(With agency inputs)