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EC orders deletion of parts from BJP poll film

EC orders deletion of parts from BJP poll film

Author: VR Jayaraj
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: April 11, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/168866/EC-orders-deletion-of-parts-from-BJP-poll-film.html

The entire Kerala is discussing issues like the multi-crore SNC Lavalin corruption by CPI(M)'s State chief and the terror strike in Mumbai, but the State Election Commission seems to think that the BJP has no right to hold campaigns over such matters.

The Kerala BJP on Friday lodged a complaint with the Central Election Commission against its State officials' order to delete certain scenes and voices from its short campaign film speaking about the collapse of India's security system as evidenced by the Mumbai terror strike and the terror links of PDP chairman Abdul Nasser Madani.

Senior BJP leader MS Kumar told The Pioneer that the State Election Commission was acting in a bias manner against his party. "This is obviously part of either the mysterious intentions of the State Election Commission or a hidden agenda of the politicians who are controlling them," he said. "The politics of election commission is very clear from this and this is a move against the BJP," he said.

The commission had asked the BJP to delete seven references and scenes from the 14-minute film produced by K Suresh Kumar, well-known film producer and chairman of BJP's cultural forum. "We can't understand why these scenes and references should irk the commission officials when the whole State is discussing these issues," Kumar said.

He said that the commission seemed to be worried about references like 'the SNC Lavalin corruption to the tune of several crores', 'AP Abdullakkutty who was kicked out of the CPI(M)', 'Abdul Nasser Madani, who has terror links', and others. The censoring panel of the commission had first objected to the scenes and references and then the commission panel headed by the State Election Commissioner itself reviewed the short film and ordered the deletions.

The film, produced for screening in the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies as part of BJP candidates' campaign, features most important social issues Kerala is currently discussing. These issues are presented in the film through characters enacted by well-known cinema and television stars.

The party has deleted these portions "as a matter of honouring the Constitutional authority of the commission" but filed a petition with the Central Election Commission against the 'biased' move of the State election officials.

Kumar said the objections of the commission to matters like collapse of the country's security as seen in the Mumbai terror attack were illogical. The party is planning to hold meetings in all districts of the State to explain the bias the commission is showing towards BJP.

BJP leaders said some officials of the State Election Commission were acting under the orders of CPI(M) and Congress leaders and this was why they ordered deletion of references in the film which could pain these parties. They said issues like the Mumbai terror attack were of national concern but the parochial minds of the Congress leaders and certain officials were seeing them as their personal problems.

They asked how issues like the multi-crore corruption in the SNC Lavalin deal and Madani's terror links, which were being discussed at length in all the Press conferences and speeches by Congress leaders, became forbidden when BJP took them up in a campaign movie.

CPI(M) State secretary is one of the key accused in the Rs 374-crore corruption-ridden deal with SNC Lavalin. AP Abdullakkutty, sitting MP of the CPI(M) in Kannur, was expelled from the party for praising Narendra Modi's development model. Madani, whose name was now coming up in several terror-linked cases, was presently an electoral ally of the CPI(M).

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