EC asks AAP to modify election song

Poll panel says certain phrases are ‘slanderous & unverified,’ Atishi says party did no wrong
 AAP senior leader Atishi
AAP senior leader Atishi

NEW DELHI: In response to AAP’s claim that its campaign song ‘jail ke khilaaf hum vote denge’ being banned by the Election Commission of India, the poll body clarified on Sunday that the claim is misleading and is subject to modification.

“It is informed that during the review and scrutiny of the advertisement submitted by the Aam Aadmi Party, the Media Pre Certification Committee headed by the Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi made certain observations regarding the advertisement/ creative with reference to various provisions/ guidelines stipulated by ECI. The said creative/ advertisement was returned along with the observations with the request to modify the contents of the creative as per the Advertising Codes...,” the clarification issued by the Delhi’s poll body read.

It said it asked AAP to resubmit the song with prescribed modification and also inform the party that if they do not agree with the decision of the Committee, they may file an appeal before the State Level Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC).

“Therefore, the news that ‘ECI has banned the song’ is factually incorrect and misleading,” the poll body said.

According to ECI, the objections raised by the poll body in the song is against the phrase “jail ke jawaab me hum vote denge” which, according to them, casts aspersions on judiciary.

“The phrase “Tanashahi party ko hum chot denge” with the clip showing the protesters and police clash (running from 00:21 to 00:23) apparently incites violence,” it added.

“In the phrase “gunda gardi ke khilaf vote denge & tanashahi karne wali party ko hum chot denge” running from duration 00:27 to 00:32 sec with the clip showing Manish Sisodia being escorted by the police, the words and the clip tend to present the picture of police in bad taste. It thus casts aspersions on the working and is defamatory and slanderous for the police,” the ECI’s clarification stated further.

A senior ECI official said that AAP is free to approach MCMC to present their case. “If they (AAP) are not satisfied by the decisions made even by MCMC, then the final option is Supreme Court,” the official added.

AAP on Sunday claimed the Election Commission has “banned” its Lok Sabha campaign song ‘Jail Ka Jawab, Vote Se Denge.’ The over two-minute campaign song, is penned and sung by AAP MLA Dilip Pandey, and was released at the party headquarters here on Thursday.Addressing a press conference, AAP senior leader Atishi accused the Election Commission of becoming a “political weapon of the BJP” and turning a blind eye to its violations. She also asserted that the campaign song does not mention the BJP and does not violate the Model Code of Conduct.

“It includes factual videos and incidents, whether it is the picture of Arvind Kejriwal’s arrest, whether it is the video of police’s misbehaviour with Manish Sisodia in the Rouse Avenue Court, whether it is the brutal detention of our volunteers in protests, everything is factual. This is the “first time in the history of the country that the Election Commission of India has banned the campaign song of any party to stop the campaign”, she alleged.

Maintaining that her party has done no wrong, Atishi appealed to the poll body “to pay attention to the fact that the BJP is flouting the MCC every day and stop the work of stalling the election campaign of the opposition”. “I hope that after a few years, the elections of 2024 should not be remembered as the election in which India’s democracy ended,” she added.

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