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Gujarat BJP has allegedly tweaked the script to change the word “Pappu” to “Yuvraj” (prince) to refer to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi — without naming him — in a pre-election video after the Election Commission (EC) reportedly raised objection to the word Pappu. Asked whether the EC has barred BJP from using the word Pappu in the promotional video, Gujarat’s Chief Electoral Officer B B Swain said, “This is a privilege information between the political party (concerned) and the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) of the EC. We cannot discuss what is being given to us, or what is being suggested or rejected.”
A senior BJP leader on condition of anonymity confirmed to The Indian Express that the party had received such a directive from the EC and acted accordingly. In a campaign video released by the BJP on Tuesday, actor Manoj Joshi, enacting a railway station newspaper vendor, is seen ostensibly mocking Rahul’s slip-of-tongue during an interaction with businessmen in Vadodara in October.
The video has Joshi telling a group of youths, “The Yuvraj of the party is a solid comedian — in fact, professional comedians stand no chance before him. People want sawaal ka jawab (answer to a question), but he wants jawab ka sawaal (question to the answer)….”
This was the BJP’s first video in the “Hu chhu vikas, hu chhu Gujarat (I am Vikas, I am Gujarat)” series.
Swain said: “The MCMC meets daily to examine audio-visual content submitted by political parties along with a proposed script. The committee has to respond within 24 hours. If anything objectionable is found, they (committee members) can make suggestions, and if these suggestions are implemented by the party concerned, then a clearance is given.”
Swain added that political parties unhappy with the MCMC’s decision can approach an appellate body headed by the chief electoral officer.