The Election Commission today clamped a ban on publication of two controversial advertisements printed by BJP in Bihar where assembly polls are on.
In a strongly-worded advisory to Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar Ajay Naik, the Commission has asked him to ensure that the two advertisements are not published in any newspaper or journal from tomorrow onwards till the election process is over.
One of the advertisements alleges that RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar are "snatching the plate of dalits" by planning to transfer the quota meant for dalits and EBCs to minorities.
Another advertisement deals with 'vote ki kheti' or votebank politics.
It claimed that RJD, JDU and Congress leaders are "giving santuary" to terrorists to appease a particular community for votes.
The two advertisements have already been published prominently in Hindi dailies brought out from Patna.
The Commission has also asked the state CEO to inform the Bihar BJP unit that such advertisements should not be published or broadcast.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accused Lalu and Kumar of conspiring to take away part of the quota for Dalits and EBCs and give it to "another community".
Sources in the poll watchdog told PTI that the poll officials in the state will also check whether the name and details of the printer and publisher of the advertisements have been printed on the face of it as per the provisions of Section 127 A of the Representation of the People Act.
The sources said the advertisements have the "potential" of dividing people on caste and religious lines which is against electoral laws and the model code.
Earlier in the day, the Grand Alliance had moved the EC against the advertisements.
The state CEO has also given a report to EC in this regard.
JD-U, which met the Chief Election Commissioner this morning over the issue, thanked the poll watch dog for the decision and said BJP should seek an 'apology' from the people of Bihar for trying to take them towards "caste and communal polarisation".
"Taking strong action, EC has given an order to withdraw both the advertisements which were aimed at misleading the people in Bihar. JD-U welcomes this decision of EC. The decision also proves the stand of the grand alliance that BJP was trying to polarise voters by spreading misinformation on caste and communal lines in Bihar.
"The ban imposed by EC on these advertisements prove that BJP was violating model code of conduct and hence an FIR should be registered against BJP leaders responsible for this," JD-U general secretary K C Tyagi said.
He said that since BJP's "gameplan has been exposed", "they should tender an unconditional apology to the people of the state for their misdeed".
A delegation of Congress and JD-U met the poll panel in morning, taking strong objection to BJP's poll advertisements in the state and accusing the party of using "lies and false propaganda" to vitiate the atmosphere in Bihar.