ECI Bans Congress\' Campaign Ads

Hyderabad: The Election Commission has banned the Congress' election advertisements on television and social media platforms and has written to television channel management as well as social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook to stop airing the advertisements. They were also asked to remove the content immediately.

The Congress said the advertisements were approved by the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) but were being stopped by the Election Commission under pressure from the BRS and the BJP.

The EC took this decision following a complaint lodged by the BRS that the Congress’ advertisements, featuring a pink car (the BRS symbol) and a look-alike of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, were in violation of EC norms.

Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Vikas Raj said that the political advertisements approved by the State Level Certification Committee for the Assembly General Elections were being misused. The office of the Chief Electoral Officer stated in the letter that they cancelled the advertisements as they were violating the Model Code of Conduct by airing them at will.

Addressing a press conference in Gandhi Bhavan, TPCC vice-president Chamala Kiran Kumar Reddy said that the party would approach the court against the ban on the advertisements that the Election Commission panel had approved earlier.

Reddy also alleged that the BRS government was putting pressure on L&T not to give space to the Congress to put up election advertisements on Metro Rail pillars and stations, which are occupied by posters of the BRS in violation of the norms.

He alleged that L&T officials have written letters to Opposition parties asking them to use Metro pillars and stations for the 'namesake' but the company officials were not responding to the requests of Opposition parties seeking space for advertisements. He alleged that MAUD minister K.T.Rama Rao and special chief secretary Arvind Kumar were exerting pressure on L&T against allocating space to Opposition parties.

"We will meet chief electoral officer Vikas Raj and bring these issues to his notice. If he fails to do justice, we will be left with no option but to approach courts," Reddy said.

He stated that the Congress election advertisements were centred around how the BRS government failed to deliver on the promises made to people in the last nine years. "We have not resorted to personal attacks against BRS leaders through these advertisements. BRS and BJP are conspiring to stop these ads with an intention that the failures of the BRS government do not reach the people during elections," he alleged.

Reddy said that the Congress had modified the advertisements as per the instructions of the EC, and despite this, the BRS is undertaking false propaganda against Congress advertisements.

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