Madhya Pradesh: EC bans Congress-sponsored Chowkidar Chor Hai ad after BJP files complain


In a setback to the Congress party’s election campaign in Madhya Pradesh, the state Election Commission on Thursday banned an advertisement with the tagline ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ (watchman is a thief) and directed the party to submit all the material related to the campaign to the poll panel. The decision has come after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) objected to the campaign citing it maligns the image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who often refers himself as chowkidar in his speeches, and complained it to the election commission.

Earlier, a BJP leader from Madhya Pradesh had raised objections to the ad claiming that the language used in it is shameful and defamatory. He said that PM Modi is renowned as chowkidar in the country and calling him a chor maligns his image. Accusing a person of importance through advertisements is unconstitutional and this ad from the Congress has deeply hurt the Prime Minister and his Office, he further added.

When the state election commission ordered the Congress to file a response, the party denied that the chowkidar reference is directed at Narendra Modi but failed to explain who it is actually referring to in the advertisement. Taking cognisance of the matter, Madhya Pradesh’s Chief Electoral Officer VL Kantha Rao then ordered a ban on the advertisement with immediate effect. The Congress Madhya Pradesh unit has also been asked to submit all the material related to their Chowkidar Chor Hai ad.