BJP on Wednesday released a video which makes a reference to "yuvraj" to apparently target Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, after the Election Commission barred the party from using the word "Pappu" in an electronic advertisement for the upcoming polls in the state.
The latest advertisement, released on Wednesday on the Facebook page of the Gujarat BJP. While "Pappu" is perceived as a social media slur coined to target Gandhi, BJP leaders frequently taunt the Congress scion with words like "yuvraj" or "shahzada".
The film shows a provisions store owner asking 'Yuvraj' not to come to him seeking votes for the Congress as his vote was reserved for the BJP.
Pappu is a common nickname across many parts of India. The sobriquet was given to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi by his political opponents in the BJP. The word is often used on social media to refer to Gandhi. The BJP had twice appealed to the Gujarat election commission to clear the film with the word 'Pappu' in it. The commission's ruling may become a precedent in the run-up to the December polls, according to sources.
"Communication between the party and the Election Commission of India falls under the privileged category, hence I will prefer not to comment," Swain said. "We have received proposals for around 250 ads. Changes have been suggested in only a few cases."
In the 49-second video which is set at a grocery store, a voice says "Sir, Sir...", followed by the response from the shop owner's assistant who says, "Yuvraj has come". In his reply to the "yuvraj", who is not seen in the clip, the shopkeeper says he will give him any grocery item but he won't get their votes as the shop was burnt down in riots during the past rule of the Congress.
The BJP and opposition Congress have been targeting each other's leaders by putting up mocking advertisements on social media with a growing frequency.
In another campaign video released by the BJP on Tuesday, actor Manoj Joshi, enacting a railway station newspaper vendor, is seen ostensibly mocking Rahul’s slip-of-tongue during an interaction with businessmen in Vadodara in October.
The video has Joshi telling a group of youths, “The Yuvraj of the party is a solid comedian — in fact, professional comedians stand no chance before him. People want sawaal ka jawab (answer to a question), but he wants jawab ka sawaal (question to the answer)….”
This was the BJP’s first video in the “Hu chhu vikas, hu chhu Gujarat (I am Vikas, I am Gujarat)” series.
Gujarat is going to polls on December 9 and December 14.