Congress files complaint against BJP over ‘communal’ animation depicting Rahul Gandhi and CM Siddaramaiah

The complaint was filed against JP Nadda, Amit Malviya, BY Vijayendra and social media in-charge of the Karnataka BJP.

BySouth First Desk

Published May 05, 2024 | 10:58 AM Updated May 05, 2024 | 11:22 AM

Congress complaint BJP animation

The Congress on Sunday, 5 April, filed a complaint to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Karnataka against the BJP for sharing a communally coloured animation depicting Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

The complaint was filed by KPCC media and communication chairman Ramesh Babu against BJP president JP Nadda, its IT cell in-charge Amit Malviya, state president BY Vijayendra and social media in-charge of the Karnataka BJP for posting the video on X.

The post on X is titled, Beware…Beware…Beware…! It shows a bird’s nest with three small eggs labelled “Scheduled Castes” (SC), “Scheduled Tribes” (SC), and “OBCs”.

It then shows two men, purportedly animated versions of Rahul Gandhi and Siddaramaiah, walking in and dropping a big egg, labelled “Muslim”. When the egg hatches, the chick with a skullcap is bigger than the rest, and Rahul feeds it with a box of “funds”.

The chick grows and with its wings, pushes the other nestlings out while the Congress leaders guffaw.

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Intended to create enmity

The complaint said that the video was intended to promote enmity and hatred between Muslims and other communities, namely the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities.

“In order to seek votes by portraying Congress party as Anti-SC/ST and OBC Community … Social Media in charge – Karnataka BJP have by video representation have promoted feelings of enmity, hatred and ill-will against members of SC/ST community attracting offences punishable under section 3(u) of SC/ST POA Act 1989,” it said.

“I state that during Model Code of conduct, any social media post by a political party has bearing on the electorate and as seen from the tenor of the video, the same is in nature of intimidating persons belonging to SC/ST Community that leaders of Congress party are likely to favour Muslims at cost of SC/ST Community,” Ramesh Babu said in the complaint.

“Since elections to Lok Sabha is being held on 07/05/2024 in 14 constituencies, the video post of BJP on their official social media handle is nothing but intimidating SC/ST community not to cast vote to Congress. This is clear case of intimidating SC/ST community members and further projecting SC/ST community people in bad light showing them as “Eggs” and being kicked by another religion ie, Muslims,” he added.

He said the post by BJP was intended to create hatred and ill will against members of the SC/ST community is a penal offence and strict action deserved to be initiated.

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‘False propaganda against Congress’

Ramesh Babu said that the BJP is resorting to false propaganda against the grand old party while soliciting votes during the election.

“I have consciously gone through the Manifesto of Congress party and nowhere has it been mentioned that allocations of funds to SC, ST and OBC community will be cut and the same will be made over to Muslim Community. The BJP party has been falsely accusing that Congress party will include Muslims to OBC category and with such false propaganda has been soliciting votes during LokSabha Elections,” he said.
“It is clear that that video social media post by aforesaid persons is to intimidate members of SC/ST Community not to Vote for Congress party by projecting that funds reserved for them will be usurped by Muslims,” he added.

Ramesh Babu further alleged that Malviya was a repeat offender.

“I have been watching tweets of BJP and Amit Malviya who is a habitual offender who has deliberately put out messages and videos to mislead the public and cause false alarm which would lead to clash between communities and further project SC/ST community persons in very negative shade,” he said.

“The act of the accused person is clearly with an intention to want only provocate rioting and promote enmity between different religions and is prejudicial to maintenance of harmony apart from intimidating members of SC/ST community not to vote for particluar candidate and causing enmity against members of SC/ST community. Hence, it is just and necessary to initiate suitable action,” Ramesh Babu said.

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‘Not the first time’

Speaking exclusively to South First on Saturday, Karnataka Information Technology and Biotechnology (IT/BT) Minister Priyank Kharge said it was not the first time the BJP did something like the post. Even their Instagram post on the Congress manifesto was highly divisive.

A case was earlier registered against the BJP for posting such an Instagram reel.

“The worst thing is that despite the Chief Election Commissioner on record saying that misinformation is the biggest threat to democracy, they are doing little or nothing about it. It looks like the Election Commission (EC) is a new frontal ‘Election Morcha’ for the BJP.”

He wondered what prevented the EC from taking action, even as social media platforms acted against such posts. “When they portrayed Rahul Gandhi holding a Pakistan flag, etc., Instagram took the post down because of the public outrage. The EC did not act.”

He said the BJP is getting emboldened by the EC’s inaction. “The EC is just being a mute spectator. It almost looks like they are hand in glove (with the BJP),” he added.

The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) was implemented on 16 March to ensure free and fair elections. It prohibits the use of religion in campaigns under the following: Communal Appeals, Religious Tensions, Criticism of Opponents and Religious Gatherings.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)