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Home > India > News > Report

BJP flays EC for censoring CD against Congress

Vicky Nanjappa | May 03, 2008 20:47 IST

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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday questioned the constitutionality of the actions of the Election Commission, which censored a video of Sushma Swaraj in which she blames the Congress for inflation in the country.

Member of Parliament and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the party had shot a video of Sushma Swaraj for the election campaign in Karnataka, which was to be released in television channels.

In the video, Sushma speaks of inflation and blames the Congress for the fiasco. The BJP had sent this video for clearance by the Election Commission. Jaitley said the EC, while approving the video, however, censored the portion when Sushma blames the Congress.

There is a beep when Sushma blames the Congress for the rise in prices, Jaitley said.

Taking strong exception to the manner in which the EC has dealt with the matter, Jaitley said that the election body is a creation of the Constitution and should not become a threat to constitutional guarantee.

He also said there is no sense in the manner in which the EC has dealt with the issue and said it is only the Congress that can be blamed for this fiasco. We have blamed the Congress as it is the ruling party. We cannot blame a municipality for inflation, he added.

In a letter to the EC, Jaitley has stated that the body is a facilitator of democracy and not its oracle.

"We believe that inflation is a paramount issue before the country and curtailing a right to address it is unacceptable."

Jaitley said the EC's order is violative of Article 19(1) of the Constitution of India, which deals with Freedom of Speech. He added that they would await a reply from the EC, following which they would decide on the next course of action to be taken.