Congress Files Complaint Against Assam CM, JP Nadda And 8 Newspapers

The complaint has been filed for “camouflaging an advertisement as news” predicting the party’s victory in all the seats in Upper Assam.

A complaint has been registered by the Congress party against Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP chief JP Nadda, state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass and eight leading newspapers for “camouflaging an advertisement as news” predicting the party’s victory in all the seats in Upper Assam that went to polls in the first phase on March 27, The Hindu reported.

APCC Legal Department Chairman Niran Borah said that the FIR was lodged with Dispur police station on Sunday night for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), provisions of Section 126A of the Representation of People Act, 1951 and the ECI’s directives issued on March 26.

“This is a blatant violation of MCC, Representation of People Act, 1951 and the ECI’s relevant instructions and media policies by BJP leaders and members, who after realising that their defeat is inevitable have resorted to desperate illegal and unconstitutional methods to influence the voters across the State,” Mr Borah said.

“In a pre-planned conspiracy to deceive voters in the second and third phases, CM, BJP national president, state chief and other members of the party have knowingly issued advertisements camouflaged as headlines on front pages of various newspapers claiming that the BJP will win all the constituencies of Upper Assam,” he added.

He further stressed that the advertisements have been presented in a manner to “prejudice the mind of the voters and this deliberate, malicious and malafide set of advertisements are in clear violation of Section 126A of the Representation of People Act, 1951, which is punishable by two years of imprisonment and fine”

Moreover, the ECI’s instructions, specific to Assam, had prohibited the dissemination of any form of prediction related to poll results between 7 a.m of March 27 till 7.30 p.m of April 29, Mr Borah said.

“The publication of large-scale advertisements by the BJP falsely predicting the outcome of the current assembly election in their favour also amounts to direct violation of the instructions,” the Congress leader added.

The APCC also urged the police to take “prompt and necessary action” against those named in the complaint, including the newspapers.

The State Congress had filed a complaint with the Assam Chief Electoral Officer Nitin Khade and the AICC with the Election Commission of India against the publication of the advertisements on Sunday urging immediate action against the BJP and the newspapers.

The leading English, Assamese, Hindi and Bengali newspapers which published the advertisements include The Assam Tribune, Asomiya Pratidin, Aamar Asom, Niyomia Barta, Asomiya Khabor, Dainik Asam, Dainik Jugasankha and Dainik Purvodaya.

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