EC bans ads af­ter BJP’s cow jibe at Ni­tish; fi­nal poll phase to­day

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent and PTI let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

NEW DELHI: A news­pa­per ad­ver­tise­ment is­sued by the BJP in Bi­har, fea­tur­ing a woman hug­ging a cow, added fuel to the sur­charged po­lit­i­cal at­mos­phere ahead of Thurs­day’s fi­nal phase of vot­ing to be held in mi­nor­ity con­cen­trated dis­tricts. The JD(U) ac­cused its main ri­val of pro­mot­ing com­mu­nal ha­tred to po­larise vot­ers while the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion (EC) or­dered a ban on pub­lish­ing ad­ver­tise­ments by any party or can­di­date on the day of polling.

The JD(U) was livid as the ad­ver­tise­ment ques­tions chief min­is­ter Ni­tish Ku­mar’s si­lence on con­tro­ver­sial re­marks by ally Lalu Prasad and other RJD lead­ers on con­sump­tion of beef by Hin­dus.

JD(U) gen­eral sec­re­tary KC Tyagi said the ad­ver­tise­ment vi­o­lates the model code of con­duct, which clearly pro­hibits use of re­li­gion to seek votes. “Stop vote bank pol­i­tics and ex­plain whether you en­dorse th­ese state­ments?” the ad says, be­fore list­ing three com­ments made by Lalu Prasad and other lead­ers. In each of the state­ments, the word beef is high­lighted in red.



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