AAP to file defamation suit against media portal, complain to EC

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: In a bid to walk to the talk on corruption, the Aam Aadmi Party on Friday reiterated that if the Election Commission of India finds any of the party’s candidates guilty after examining the controversial sting operation footage, he or she would withdraw from the political race and stop campaigning.

In a bid to assuage tensions brewing for the AAP ahead of December 04 Assembly Elections, AAP member Yogendra Yadav reiterated that the CD which showed one of its candidates allegedly accepting a donation without verification was not genuine.

Notably, the media portal has submitted the tapes to the EC.

Terming the CD a political conspiracy, Yadav said lawyer Prashant Bhushan will file a defamation suit against those who made the CD and TV channels which broadcast it.

Addressing a press conference, Yadav asserted that no decision against the candidates in question would be taken unless the party reviews unedited footage, which it is yet to receive from the media portal which conducted the sting operation.

He also said selected portions were shown to defame the AAP and show its candidates in poor light ahead of their debut in Assembly Elections.

Pointing to “discrepancy” between the transcript and actual conversation in the footage, Yadav said: “The CD of the sting shows AAP candidates were being pestered by reporters. Their conversation was edited to give a wrong impression."

"Our candidates interacted at length with the reporters carrying out the sting but in the clip only a few minutes' footage is shown."

Yadav said the party had demanded raw footage from the media portal, to which the CEO had agreed last night. However, the party has not received any tape till now.

Yadav said that the party has decided to urge the EC to provide a copy of the footage to them as well.

However, he declined to take any action against the candidates seen in the footage, saying it won’t be natural justice if any decision in this regard is taken without reviewing unedited tapes.

The AAP leader also raised questions over the motive of releasing such footage just ahead of the polls. If the portal is releasing the CD in favour of this country, why is it not providing unedited tapes to us, asked Yadav.

Striking a cautious note, Yadav said AAP’s emergence is making Congress and BJP tensed and many more malicious campaigns could be carried out to defame the party.

Earlier in the day too, Yadav, at a press conference in the national capital, had said that the CD has been tampered with.

The chief executive officer of mediasarkar.com, the web portal that said it had captured footage showing Shazia Ilmi, Aam Aadmi Party candidate from RK Puram in south Delhi, accepting donations without following procedures, handed over the CD to the Election Commission.

In a formal letter addressed on Thursday to the chief executive officer of mediasarkar.com, the AAP requested that the portal hand over a copy of the raw CD to it to carry out a detailed and proper investigation on the authenticity of the footage.

The AAP asked the portal to hand over the copy of the CD by 11 am on Friday.

Yadav said: "The footage is doctored and tampered, there is no authenticity in footage of the CD. This is an effort to dent the clean and honest image of AAP.”

"Once the media organisation hands over the copy of the raw CD to us, we will analyse the whole content of the CD in detail, basically listening to all the versions of the candidates and the recording," Yadav said.

Speaking on the occasion, Manish Sisodia, senior AAP leader, said he himself has worked in several media organisations and was aware of ways in which footage could be tampered with.

"What is the problem in giving a copy of the raw CD, especially when candidates from the AAP seen in the footage are ready to opt out of the polls, if found guilty?" asked Sisodia, saying that mediasarkar.com was trying to join forces with the Congress to dent the image of the AAP.

He said it was also the responsibility of TV channels to first check the authenticity of footage before running them.

"The Congress is trying its best to sabotage our party's image, probably because they are scared of our popularity among the Delhiites," Sisodia said.

Yogendra Yadav said that the media cannot just run whatever is given to them. It is a big election, and the media should understand that a lot of such fake efforts are being made to sabotage the party's image, he said.

(With IANS inputs)

First Published: Friday, November 22, 2013, 17:01


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