Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday said “BJP is not in favour of suspension of publication of Saamna newspaper during election days” but the party has objections to certain content published in it.
After a BJP functionary wrote to the State Election Commission demanding ban on publication of Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’ on three days,
Sena president Uddhav Thackeray had compared the situation to “Emergency”.
State BJP spokesperson Shweta Shalini had said in a letter to SEC that “publishing content or undertaking publicity campaign (of parties and candidates) two days before polling date” is prohibited, so publication of ‘Saamana’ should
be banned on February 16, 20 and 21.
Asked about his views on the issue, Fadnavis said, “During the first phase of voting (for Zilla Parishad polls) held on
February 16, an objectionable content was published in ‘Saamana’ newspaper. We object to such content as it violates
the (model) code of conduct. And our demand to the SEC has been not to allow Saamana to publish such content on the day of polling.”
“BJP is not in favour of suspension of publication of Saamana newspaper during election days,” the Chief Minister said. Meanwhile, sources close to Fadnavis said, the CM has expressed his disappointment over the letter sent to SEC, as it “dented” the party’s image.
They also claimed that not all the advertisement and communication content of the party for the polls was approved by Fadnavis.
Meanwhile, in Thane, taking a jibe at Shiv Sena, Fadnavis said, “Let them (Shiv Sena leaders) not teach us about Emergency. It was the Shiv Sena which supported (former Prime Minister) Indira Gandhi for Emergency.”
“We suffered a lot during the Emergency when our leaders and others were jailed for months. My father was imprisoned for 19 months. Do you (Shiv Sena) realise our sufferings?” Fadnavis asked.
Union minister of urban development Venkaiah Naidu had said imposing ban on newspapers is not BJP’s principle.