Aam Aadmi Party on Monday filed a complaint with the Election Commission against the Bharatiya Janata Party for allegedly targeting party leader Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘gotra’ (sub-caste) in an advertisement.
“Today (on Monday) we went to the Election Commission to complain against the way the BJP has started its advertisement attack. The BJP has crossed all limits now, they have tagged an entire sect of the Indian society and called them ‘upadravi’,” AAP national secretary Pankaj Gupta said.
He said, “By putting out this kind of an advertisement they have violated the Model Code of Conduct against which have requested the commission to take strict and prompt action.”
The advertisement, third in the series released by BJP, targets Kejriwal for allegedly threatening to disrupt the Republic Day celebrations last year while complaining over not getting an invite this year.
Gupta said, “The whole society is watching what kind of divisive policies the ruling party is playing up and the way they are trying to divide the party on the lines of religion.”
In the first advertisement of the series, BJP also triggered a controversy by showing anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare’s sketch with a garland.
“We were suspicious from the beginning that they have nothing to say about developing Delhi, other than making personal attacks on Kejriwal. Still there are two more days left, we are waiting for them to say something positive, other than making this kind of attacks,” Gupta said.
The BJP, on the other hand, filed a complaint against AAP with the Election Commission alleging that the party has violated the model code of conduct by trying to give ‘casteist and religious tone’ to a ‘political statement’ made by it in an advertisement.
“We have highlighted to EC about the unfortunate incident of use of caste in the election process by AAP which is in violation to the code of conduct,” Union Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters after meeting the EC officials.
“An advertisement by the BJP which alluded to the anarchist attitude, mindset and behaviour of the AAP has sought to be twisted into religious and castiest overtone, which is deplorable and blown out of context. We have appealed to the EC to take action against this kind of deplorable behaviour,” he said.
Delhi BJP President Satish Upadhyay alleged that a controversy being created over the advertisement was a conspiracy of the AAP. “They are trying to twist a political statement and give a casteist and religious tone to the otherwise smooth electoral process,” he said.
Prior to the meeting with EC officials, Goyal, at a press conference, said, “I think it is extremely sad that certain political parties are trying to convert a political statement and a matter of fact which was used metaphorically to denote their party’s ideology which is of anarchy and obstructionism.”
“According to us, the statement was made against AAP’s DNA, its political philosophy and ideology. It was used as a metaphor, figure of speech. The statement has been twisted and misused by AAP,” he said.