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Home > News > PTI

BJP's Godhra ad: Congress knocks EC's door

December 01, 2007 01:41 IST

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Congress has complained to the Election Commission that the recent advertisement on Godhra issued by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in local and national newspapers had violated the model code of conduct in poll-bound Gujarat.

"I have written a letter to the Election Commission complaining that the BJP has violated the model code of conduct by giving an advertisement on Godhra riots," senior Congressman and Opposition Leader in the Assembly Arjun Modhwadia said on Friday.

"I have written that as various cases on Godhra riots are going on and an inquiry commission was also conducting investigation into them, the BJP's act of giving such an advertisement was a violation of the model code of conduct. It will only result into communal flare up in Gujarat," he said, adding, "I have asked the Election Commission to take action on the issue."

Following the complaint by the Opposition party, BJP Gujarat election in-charge Arun Jaitley has also shot off a letter to the EC, saying it was their Constitutional right under Article 19(1)(A) to express the party's view to the electorate on any live political issue.

He said in the letter that the 'political' advertisement has a reference to the Justice U C Banerjee Committee set up by the Railway Minister which concluded that the fire in the Sabarmati Express erupted from inside and the accused held in connection with the train burning had no role to play in it.

In the letter, Jaitley said the BJP was of the view that the Banerjee Committee was set up to subvert the truth and help the accused.

"The attempt to help the perpetrators of the Godhra crime is legally improper and politically immoral. The UPA and the Congress deserve to be exposed before the people."

Jaitley requested the EC to fix a date for hearing and give them an opportunity to put across their point in case it planned to pass any order on the Congress' complaint.

The BJP brought the Godhra issue centrestage ahead of next month's polls by publishing newspapers advertisements two days ago.

The half-page advertisements in Hindi and Gujarati in almost all English and language dailies had accused the UPA government of trying to rub salt into the wounds of the people affected in the 2002 Sabarmati Express train burning case.

The BJP questioned the Congress-led coalition's motive in appointing the Banerjee panel to probe the causes of the fire inside the coaches of Sabarmati Express at Godhra on February 27. The fire had resulted in the death of at least 59 people, mostly 'Ram sevaks.'

The Banerjee committee had reportedly said that the fire was accidental.

The BJP advertisement carried the title: Namak Godhra Ke Ghavo Par? (rubbing salt on Godhra wounds) and it attacked the Banerjee committee's findings.




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