The Congress party (Vadodara chapter) has approached the Election Commission of India, objecting to the shooting of advertisements for Gujarat Tourism when the Model Code of Conduct is in place.
The Congress has objected to Bollywood film star Amitabh Bachchan visiting Vadodara and Pavagadh on March 10, 11 and 12 to promote tourism in the state, saying that Bachchan’s celebrity status will be used by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the state to woo voters through the tourism ads. The shooting for ‘Khushboo Gujarat Ki’ campaign is
scheduled from March 10 to March 12 at Champaner, 30 km from Ahmedabad.
The State Election Officer will now examine the validity of the complaint with respect to the Model Code of Conduct guidelines.
In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner V.S Sampath and the Vadodara Election officers, the Congress wrote, “Amitabh Bachchan is the biggest celebrity of the country and will be used by BJP Government to gather people to canvas for the development done by the BJP-led Government, which will violate the Model Code of Conduct.
“We request you to kindly intervene and stop this shooting under the Election Code of Conduct. We also here by request you that event of such kind should not be held at any other place during the time of elections as the Model Code of Conduct is now effective.”
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City President Narendra Ravat said, “The advertisement is used for promoting development under BJP in Gujarat. We oppose the same as a celebrity of this rank is being used to promote BJP’s false developments in tourism sector, during election time to market BJP in name of shooting tourism advertisement.”
Vinod Rao, District Collector and District Magistrate, who is also the Election Officer for Vadodara said, “The content of the program is not known to us. I am not in a position to say if it is a violation or not. I have forwarded the objection and complaint to the Chief Election Officer of Gujarat, since the tourism campaign involves other districts like Narmada, Valsad, Panchmahals and so on.