2019 Lok Sabha elections: Congress alleges Modi govt schemes promoted in serials, files EC plaint
Citing references to the Narendra Modi government’s schemes in the dialogues of two television serials in two channels, the Maharashtra Congress has demanded action against the channels, producers of the serials and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for violating the model code of conduct. The Election Commission (EC) has ordered an inquiry into the complaint.
In its complaint to the chief electoral officer (CEO) of Maharashtra, Congress said the characters in the serials discuss schemes launched by the Modi government and talk about how people have benefited.
“Insertion of such dialogues is indirect campaigning by the producers and the channels when the model code of conduct is in force. We have demanded an inquiry along with action against them and BJP too,” said Sachin Sawant, general secretary and Congress spokesperson.
Dillip Shinde, additional CEO, said, “We have ordered an inquiry into the complaint and action will be taken as per the rules of the model code of conduct. If necessary, there will be a first-information report (FIR) lodged against those found guilty. The probe will also ascertain if the content of the serials were with the knowledge of the party or added unilaterally.”
“For the past few days, the BJP has been using television serials with high TRPs to promote government schemes such as Mudra Yojana, Swachha Bharat Abhiyaan and projecting it as key achievements of the government and the prime minister. We have submitted the clips of these serials in which the actors are seen indirectly campaigning for the ruling party and we feel the methodology fits the definition of paid news,” Sawant said. Congress has also demanded the serials be taken off air immediately.