BJP’s ‘art & artist’ meme under poll body’s scanner

Aranya Shankar
BJP’s ‘art & artist’ meme under poll body’s scanner

Delhi BJP Twitter handle has targetted Arvind Kejriwal in the meme. (Photo: File)

While BJP candidate Kapil Mishra’s tweets were pulled down on directions of the Election Commission (EC), they are not the only social media posts the Delhi Chief Electoral Office (CEO) has found problematic.

The Delhi CEO office is also learnt to have forwarded a tweet by the Delhi BJP’s official Twitter handle on January 20, which shared a meme containing two photos. On the left side was the visual of the burning bus from the anti-CAA protest which was held on December 15, near New Friends Colony. The photo was labelled “art”. On the right side was the photograph of CM Arvind Kejriwal and AAP candidate from Okhla Amanatullah Khan, both wearing skull caps and shoulder scarves and dressed in white. The photo was labelled “artist”.

Sources said the Delhi CEO wrote to the EC, flagging the post and saying it was a violation of the MCC. The CEO office has invoked Clause 1 (1) which says, “No party or candidate shall include in activity which may aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred...” They also asked the EC that the tweet be taken down.

EC officials said the matter was under observation.

The CEO office had earlier written to the EC regarding personal jibes being made by political parties and their social media handles through videos and memes.

They had flagged posts from all three parties — BJP, Congress and AAP — in which they had poked fun at each other, saying that such posts may vitiate the political atmosphere. They had asked the EC to clarify if such posts constitute political advertisement, since the EC does not recognise posts from party and individual handles as political ads.

EC sources had told The Indian Express that in response, the Delhi CEO had been told to check if the posts were violating the MCC.

The CEO is learnt to have written to the EC to take down at least two of those posts — one by the BJP, where they had tweeted a video titled ‘AAP ka khalnayak’ on January 12. The video has now been deleted. The other was a morphed video of Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari dancing to AAP’s poll jingle ‘Lage Raho Kejriwal’ posted by the AAP on January 11.