Congress slams BJP's Saamana ban demand

The Congress has criticised BJP's double standards and questioned the saffron party about its own RSS mouthpiece, the Organiser.

Mumbai: The Congress has come down heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after it demanded a ban on Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana on days when the BMC does to polls. The Congress has criticised BJP’s double standards and questioned the saffron party about its own RSS mouthpiece, the Organiser.

Undeterred by their friend-turned-foe’s demand, the Sena says the BJP is ‘scared’ of them. Citing violation of election code of conduct, the BJP had demanded a ban on Sena’s Saamana on February 16, 20 and 21 — the dates when BMC goes to polls. “There is a particular code of conduct that has to be followed. But if there is a demand that Saamana be banned then in BJP-ruled states, the Organiser should also be banned,” said Congress national spokesperson Manish Tewari.

Sanjay Jha, another Congress spokesperson pointed out how an online editor of a website was booked and arrested for releasing exit polls on Uttat Pradesh. “The exit polls predicted BJP’s win still he was arrested. This indicates that it was a paid news by BJP,” Mr Jha said.

The Saamana had lambasted the BJP in its Thursday’s edition for demand a ‘ban’ on it. The article alleged that the demand shows BJP’s ‘dictatorship’ and the ‘fear’ about Sena’s “true” opinions.

It also quoted couplets from Urdu saying that their battle will go on with the help of a newspaper. “Khicho na kaman ko na talwar nikalo, jab top mukabil hai to akhbar nikalo” (do not pull bow or sword when you are faced with a canon instead come out with a newspaper to fight).

BJP state spokesperson Shweta Shalini had written a letter saying, “Saamana is Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece and look at the articles it prints. They are all propaganda articles that can influence voters and this is clear violation of code of conduct. The demand is that action be initiated and the immediate ban on the mentioned dates be put in, as it violates code of conduct.”

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