BMC Election: Sena, Cong accuse CM, Aamir of running surrogate poll campaign

They claim that an ad in newspapers by Mumbai First yesterday violates the Election Code of Conduct, as the organisation is closely associated with CM

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Aamir Khan with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. File pic
Aamir Khan with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. File pic

City-based organisation Mumbai First, actor Aamir Khan, and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis have been accused of teaming up, to run a surrogate election campaign on the day of polling yesterday. The state election commission had banned any political advertisement after 5.30pm on February 19, the deadline of the campaign for candidates in the civic polls.

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Yuva Sena office-bearer Dharmendra Mishra, who is a practicing lawyer by profession, and the Congress, have strongly objected to an ad by Mumbai First, that appeared in many newspapers. Mishra sent a complaint to SEC J S Saharia on Tuesday, while the Congress will do it today. Mishra said that Mumbai First was part of the CMO's war room committee for the elections.

"I would like to say that any sort of advertising to promote a party 48 hours before election, and during the period of poll is a clear violation of the Election Code of Conduct," said Mishra, adding that he was surprised to see the SEC turn a blind eye when Khan was trying to influence the voters. "I am indeed surprised that election authorities are not concerned with this violation and are behaving like toothless tigers," he said.

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Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant accused the BJP of playing dirty politics. "The advertisement featuring Aamir Khan needs to be probed by the SEC. Mumbai First is closely associated with the CM. This is a blatant violation of the code of conduct and SEC must take action," said Sawant.

Mumbai First CEO Shishir Joshi said the sole aim of advertisement was to encourage citizens to vote. When contacted, JS Saharia said the parties concerned will be asked to clarify first, before taking any action against them.

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