BJP seeks ban on Saamana on 3 days; Uddhav calls it Emergency

Pune, Feb 15: After a BJP functionary wrote to the State Election Commission demanding ban on publication of Shiv Sena mouthpiece `Saamana' on three days, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray compared the situation to Emergency. 

State BJP spokesperson Shweta Shalini said in a letter to SEC that "publishing content or undertaking publicity campaign (of parties and candidates) two days before polling date" is prohibited, so publication of Saamana should be banned on February 16, 20 and 21.

Elections to 10 municipal corporations and 25 Zilla Parishads in Maharashtra will be held in two phases on February 16 and 21. 

Uddhav reacted saying "Saamana's closure is not possible ever". Later, addressing a campaign rally in Pune in the

evening, he compared the situation to Emergency.

"I just got a message that BJP has complained to Election Commission seeking ban on printing Saamana on February 16, February 20 and February 21. My question is if you blame Indira Gandhi for imposing Emergency, isn't this an Emergency?" he said.

"Why are Chief Minister and Prime Minister going to poll-bound areas for campaigning? Forget all these dates, as long as model code of conduct is in force, CM and PM should not be allowed to do campaigning," he said. 

Thackeray also said that as talk about "setting" between rival parties was rife, "today I declare that I too have setting and that is with the masses of Maharashtra."