Recently, there were news doing the rounds that Congress has filed a complaint with Election Commission after shows like Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hain and Tujhse Hai Raabta were seen promoting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) schemes in their shows ahead of Lok Sabha elections.
In the shows, the characters can be seen lauding PM Modi’s flagship schemes, Swach Bharat Abhiyan, Ujjwala Gas Yojana, and Mudra Yojana.
BJP, Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said it was the direct violation of the code of conduct. “These episodes featuring praise for Modi and the schemes’ advertisements were shown last week on TV. It was shocking and outrageous. How can the BJP use popular TV serials to campaign for its schemes? This is just like paid news. While watching the serial, voters are not aware that this is a campaign for the BJP government. The party has resorted to such tactics because it is worried about defeat in the Lok Sabha polls,” he told Mumbai Mirror.
EC issues notice to Bhabi Ji Ghar Par Hain & Tujhse Hai Raabta makers
And now, a report in Mumbai Mirror states that makers of both the shows have been sent a show cause notice by the EC, demanding an explanation within 24 hours.
Additional Electoral Officer of Maharashtra, Dilip Shinde told the tabloid, “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.”
Applauding the EC’s move, Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant 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,”
The channel on the other hand said it was creative call taken for interest of the public. “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,” the channel said in a statement.