The Maharashtra Congress has registered a complaint with the State Election Commission on Wednesday, citing an advertisement published in some print media on polling day a “blatant violation of the code of conduct,” reported Hindustan Times.
The party has demanded immediate action to be taken against an NGO called Mumbai First, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan, who stars in the advertisement.
As part of the complaint, Sachin Sawant – a spokesperson for Congress – claimed that the advertisement published by Mumbai First shed light on the BJP’s election planks involving “change” and “transparency.” According to him, this was unfair to other political parties.
“One can establish the fact, from the information available on the website of the NGO, that the chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is closely associated with them. As political advertisements were banned after 5:30pm on February 19, the NGO issued the advertisements in its name to help BJP on polling day,” the complaint reads.
In response, the State Election Commissioner JS Saharia has said that the appropriate steps will be taken after examining Congress’ complaint and the required evidence has been submitted and reviewed.
Mumbai First, on the other hand, has refuted the allegations. CEO Shishir Joshi has claimed that the main purpose behind the advertisement was to encourage more people to go out and vote and had nothing to do with the political agendas of any of the parties.
As for Aamir, his endorsement of the advertisement did not go down well with the Indian public, especially considering the actor did not bother to vote himself at all. The Dangal star drew much flak for merely appearing in the video and appealing to the people to vote for better governance and change.
Although Aamir was reportedly out of the country on Election Day, presumably shooting for his forthcoming film, RTI activist Anil Galgali termed his act as “hypocritical,” saying he did not vote himself after appealing others to do so.
It is pertinent to mention here that Aamir’s wife Kiran Rao did, however, cast her vote at a polling booth in the Mumbai locality of Bandra West on Tuesday.
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