Election officials in Maharashtra issued an order on Monday directing producers of television serials ‘Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai’ and ‘Tujhse Hai Raabta’, aired on &TV and Zee TV channels, to remove content that deemed to benefit the prospects of a political party.
Last week, office of chief Electoral Officer (CEO) had served notices to Binaifer Kohli and Sanjay Kohli’s Edit II Productions (‘Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai’) and Sonali Potnis and Aamir Jaffer’s Full Media House (‘Tujhse Hai Raabta’) after it received a complaint from the Congress, accusing the two shows of espousing the benefits of schemes run by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.
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The Congress had taken objection to characters in the two TV serials praising government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana.
The two production houses had subsequently replied to the notice.
“The producers had denied the allegations of the promoting the government schemes to propagate a political party, claiming that they had no such intention. Besides, they claimed that the government schemes shown were general in nature,” an official said.
The election officials, however, said the explanations were not found to be satisfactory in nature. “How can they have figures about expenditure incurred or beneficiaries of a particular scheme? It was observed that the content was benefiting electoral prospects of a political party and can influence the voters. Besides, they had not taken any permission from EC for the showing such content. So, it was a clear violation of the election code,” the official said.
The producers have been asked to remove the content immediately. “The producers have also been asked to not to show any such content which may disturb the level playing field of any political party,” an official said.
Dilip Shinde, additional chief electoral officer, who had issued the orders confirmed that such an order had been issued on Monday.