Gujarat Election Commission ‘censors’ BJP’s poll advertisement featuring ‘Pappu’
Gandhinagar, Nov 15: The irony of the situation could not be missed in this particular episode as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders are raising hell after the Gujarat Election Commission has blocked the use of the word "Pappu" in a television poll advertisement of the party for the upcoming state Assembly elections scheduled on December 9 and 14.
In fact, it is the BJP which has been at the forefront whenever it comes to banning scenes and words from any films, latest examples being the Tamil movie Mersal and upcoming Bollywood film, Padmavati.
According to TV news channel, Times Now, the state EC after viewing an unreleased TV advertisement of the BJP for the upcoming Gujarat poll campaign has asked the party to remove the word "Pappu" mentioned in the video.
To remind our readers, "Pappu" is the word infamously used to target Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi by his critics, including some top BJP leaders.
The online critics have christened Rahul with names like "Prince" and "Pappu". "Pappu" has especially stuck with him. Even some Congressmen call him "Pappu". "Pappu" is a Hindi word used to ridicule a person as someone who is "worthless" or a "fool".
Recently, a Congress leader from UP addressed him as "Pappu" on WhatsApp, and ended up being sacked from the party.
Coming back to the Gujarat poll advertisement of the BJP, the state EC has strongly objected to the TV advertisement featuring an individual named "Pappu".
According to Times Now, the state EC stated that the advertisement, which indirectly targets Congress VP, is derogatory.
"After examining the audio-visual advertisement, the state EC said the caricature used in the clip depicts a 'certain personality' and the name 'Pappu' is embarrassing in Gujarati," reported Times Now.
"In this political advertisement, it (Pappu) should not be used, the committee recommends a change in this advertisement," read the letter sent to the BJP by the poll panel. The state EC also cited Television Network Rules 1994 to ban the BJP's new campaign.
The state EC's suggestion to change the advertisement by removing the word "Pappu" has been strongly opposed by the BJP leaders, calling it "censorship".
It seems the BJP is once again going to appeal to the state EC to pass the advertisement without any cuts. The BJP in its defence stated that no leader has been directly named in the advertisement.
Taking a dig at the state EC, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said: "The EC has made this word Pappu official and made it synonymous with Rahul Gandhi."
Coming out in support of the decision of the state EC, Rajiv Desai, public affairs analyst, was quoted as saying by Times Now, "BJP has lost the plot in Gujarat. They can do whatever they want.This BJP ad is intended to belittle a political rival."
The BJP has released several TV advertisements as a part of its poll campaign in Gujarat.