Gujarat elections: EC bars BJP from using ‘Pappu’ in electronic ads
“It was important for the world to know the real Rahul Gandhi,” technocrat Sam Pitroda said in an interaction with a news outlet
Describing the word “Pappu”, used mainly by BJP supporters to ridicule Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, as derogatory, the Election Commission (EC) has barred the ruling BJP in Gujarat from using it in election advertisements.
“Pappu” is a social media slur coined to target Rahul Gandhi.
BJP sources told PTI that the media committee under the Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) objected to the word mentioned in the script of the advertisement which was submitted by the party for approval last month.
“Before making any election-related advertisement, we have to submit a script to the committee to get a certificate. However, they raised objection to the word ‘Pappu’, saying it is derogatory. They asked us to remove or replace it,” a senior BJP leader was quoted by the news wire.
The video in question apparently features a character called “Pappu”, who is depicted as “dumb” and “does not understand the meaning of development”.
He said the party would replace the word and submit a new script for the EC's approval.
“Since there was no direct mention or linkage with any person while mentioning ‘Pappu’ in the entire script, we had appealed to the committee to reconsider their decision, but they rejected it. Now, we will change that word and submit a new script for approval,” he was quoted as saying.
Even though Gujarat CEO BB Swain feigned ignorance on the “any such development”, several conscientious social media users demanded that all such derogatory terms used by political parties for their opponents should be barred.
“Rahul Gandhi was projected as ‘Pappu’ by the paid Indian media and social media. Therefore, we felt it is better to organise interactions abroad, and present him before people with no bias, and let them judge him. We started with UC Berkeley, and then he met a lot of people ranging from students, intellectuals, businessmen, politicians, Hollywood stars,” technocrat Sam Pitroda, who’s in Gujarat working on the Congress poll manifesto, said in an interview to the Print, adding,
“It was important for the world to know the real Rahul Gandhi. And I am telling you, whoever met him in the US, had only praise to offer about his persona, his clarity of thought, his viewpoints, his idea of India. You must have noticed that the media back home has started recognising his potential as a leader. He is a young man who wants to work for the country, and has a fair idea of what to do. He doesn’t need any promotion from anyone. He is an honest man, who just needed an honest audience. I am glad it worked.”