Grand alliance protests BJP's beef ad with EC

The BJP advertisement questioned the "silence" of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on "repeated insult" to "revered" cow.

New Delhi: Strongly objecting to a newspaper advertisement by BJP on beef in areas going to polls on Thursday, JD(U) and Congress Wednesday approached the Election Commission accusing the party of attempting to "polarize Bihar elections by promoting communal hatred".

A delegation comprising JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi and Congress spokespersons RPN Singh and Ajoy Kumar today met the EC and alleged the advertisement amounted to "seeking votes in the name of religion".

The BJP advertisement questioning the "silence" of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on "repeated insult" to "revered" cow by his "friends" everyday appeared in vernacular newspapers in Kishanganj, Saharsa and other areas that will witness voting tomorrow in the fifth and final round of Assembly election.

The BJP ad asked CM to "stop politics of vote bank and answer if he agrees with statements of his friends on beef."

"The threat of divine displeasure as well as seeking votes in the name of religion is therefore implicit in the nature of the advertisements published in the newspapers today," they said, ruing that the party did this despite the warning by the Election Commission on Ocotber 31 and ban on two advertisements published by the BJP.

Calling the latest advertisement "yet another attempt to polarize the Bihar elections by promoting communal hatred," the grand alliance leaders alleged, "BJP continues to violate the Model Code of Conduct with impunity which also amount to serious offences under the IPC and other statutes."

The delegation said that despite the EC's earlier order that such appeal of divisive nature should be avoided, the BJP has again committed an "open breach of the Model Code of Conduct and the orders of the Election Commission."

Citing various rules, including the provisions of Indian Penal Code, the leaders demanded action against the ruling party at the Centre over the advertisement.

The advertisement cited purported statements of RJD President Lalu Prasad, his party vice president Raghuvansh Prasad Singh and Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on beef and sought answer from Nitish Kumar.

In a strongly-worded advisory to Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar Ajay Naik, the Commission had on Sunday asked him to ensure that the two advertisements were not published in any newspaper or journal till the election process got over.

One of the advertisements alleged that RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar were "snatching the plate of dalits" by planning to transfer the quota meant for dalits and EBCs to minorities.

Another advertisement dealt with 'vote ki kheti' or votebank politics. It claimed that RJD, JD(U) and Congress leaders were "giving santuary" to terrorists to appease a particular community for votes.

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