The Election Commission has issued show cause notices to two television channels as Congress complained that the shows were propagating BJP's pet schemes through characters on the shows. As per a Mumbai Mirror report, the EC has given the channels 24 hours to respond to the notices. Congress has objected to the characters from Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hain and Tujhse Hai Raabta praising BJP's schemes like Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, Ujjwala and Mudra loan, blaming the ruling party for the same. Congress says that it was just a version of paid news.
BJGPH & THR Propagating Government Schemes
In BJGPH, a character is shown holding forth on cleanliness (Swachchta) when another character litters on the road and praises PM without naming him. Also, in another scene, a wife is seen educating her husband about Ujjwala scheme. In THR, a character is seen narrating how a person can get Rs 10 lakh loan under the Mudra scheme.
Show Cause Notices Sent To The Channels
Additional Electoral Officer of Maharashtra, Dilip Shinde was quoted by Mumbai Mirror as saying, "We received a complaint that Zee TV and & TV were using their serials to campaign the Centre's schemes and hence violating the model code of conduct. We have issued show cause notices to producers of the serials. They will have to reply in 24 hours. Further action will be taken after receiving their reply."
‘This Trend Is Dangerous For The Country’
Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant welcomed the EC's move and said, "It was a serious matter and the action by the EC was expected. The channels have brazenly violated the code of conduct. I had demanded that the channels should be suspended for the violation. The EC should also hold BJP responsible for running their campaign on the channels. It also shows how BJP is muzzling democracy and setting the wrong precedent. This trend is dangerous for the country. The party is using deceptive and illegal means to garner votes."
Content Shown As Per Public Interest!
Zee Group's spokesperson (of which &TV is a part), defended the content saying it was in public interest. The spokesperson was quoted by the leading daily as saying, "As a responsible national television network, ZEE has always created content basis its stringent content guidelines. The mention of certain government schemes and initiatives in some of the episodes of the television shows was a creative call taken purely in the interest of the public."
Saumya Tandon Says…
Meanwhile, when Saumya Tandon (from BJGPH), who is on maternity break, was asked regarding the same, she told Spotboye, "I haven't resumed work yet and that's why the channel will be a better entity to answer this question."
It has to be recalled that the actress had come out clean in the famous Cobrapost sting operation, which exposed many actors from the entertainment industry for taking money in return of propagating political parties.