The Bihar Assembly Election verdict was out on November 8. Both JDU +alliance and Bhartiya Janta Party didn’t leave a single to chance to woo voters. Rallies, posters, hoardings, campaigns, TV promos, front page covers—they did every single thing to save face.
However, one thing that stood out was controversial advertisements from the Bhartiya Janta Party. The Election Commission was forced to take tough action against the party. They banned their advertisement thrice and also filed an FIR.
There seem to be many reasons that didn’t let the lotus to bloom, and controversial campaigns were one of the key reasons. The Election Commission was so upset that it directed political parties not to publish ads in newspapers without their approval, but BJP ditched the directive and published ads what they want.
It can be highlighted that this was the first time in the history of any election that poll panel felt the need to censor political ads..
The first print advertisement came in local newspapers in Bihar under the umbrella of Quota Conspiracy on October 30th, the ad said, “Daliton, pichchado ki thali kheeck, alpsankhyakon ki aarakshan parosne ka shadyantra kya sushan hai?”
In a reaction to that, Election Commission prohibited media from carrying such advertisements and directed the Chief Electoral Officer in Bihar to warn the parties against such actions.
The second advertisement that led down BJP in this election played the “Dalit Card”. The ad said, ‘Voton ki kheti ke liye aatank ki fasal seenchna kya sushan hai?’
Responding to that ad, the Commission was of the firm view that both the advertisements have the potential of aggravating the differences between different classes of citizens of India and also creating mutual hatred, ill-will, and disharmony.
But these warnings didn’t bother BJP, just before the final day of election BJP came out cow-themed ad.
The advertisement from BJP raised question against current Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar silence over the controversial remarks made by his allies on the beef issue.
The ad said, “Chief Minister you kept quiet when your allies were repeatedly insulting the holy cow.”
In response, the Election Commission banned that ad and also filed an FIR against BJP.
While experts on different news channels suggest that the controversial advertisements are one of the reasons for defeat for BJP in the Bihar election, the question is did these ads really play spoilsport during the election?