Provocative Posters: Election Commission Action Urged

The controversial BJP poster
The controversial BJP poster


Caravan Report

AHMEDABAD (Gujarat) Oct 20 – Eminent social activists Teesta Setalvad, Javed Anand, Ravi Kulkarni, Kanishk Prasad, Suresh Bhosale, Sumedh Jadhav, Madhu Prasad, Rajen Prasad and others have written to the Election Commission of India drawing its attention to the thousands of provocative posters (image inset) that have come up in all trains leaving Gujarat state.  In their complaint sent to Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath and Election Commissioners H S Brahma and Dr Nasim Zaidi, the petitioners have said that: “It has been brought to our notice that hundreds, if not thousands of posters have suddenly been observed in all trains leaving Gujarat state. The contents of these posters with the provocative heading, “Why is There a Conspiracy Against Sadhu Sants in Bharat?” is a clear-cut effort to communalize the atmosphere ahead of the state elections in over five states and also impact on the next year’s General Elections.”

The activists went on to point out that in the poster, “there is a photograph and comment published of BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy. It appears to be indicative of being a well-planned ploy of one of the major parties in the election fray to violate sections 123(a) and 123(b) of the Representations of People’s Act (RPA) ahead of the elections. Worse, it is a clear ploy also to divide peoples on lines of community identity and polarize an already surcharged atmosphere. We urge that the Election Commission kindly takes note of this development and initiate steps to curb this sinister design.”

It may be recalled that on the eve of the last state elections in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP had officially circulated a CD that contained malevolent utterances against the Muslim minority community. The Election Commission had initiated prompt and immediate action in this regard. This is being pointed out to illustrate that there is an established pattern to this and this is not an isolated incident, said the activists who have been fighting for communal peace and amity in Gujarat and elsewhere in the state.


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