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Editors, Ethics and Election Code

Editors, Ethics and Election Code

Editors, Ethics and Election Code

On the 31st of March, 2009, the Telugu vernacular daily news paper Surya published on its front page an article written by Marthy Subramanyam entitled “ Raguluthunna Kutumba Rajyam” loosely translated means “ The raging differences in the Praja Rajyam family”

This article is supposed to be a political analysis of the fledgling political party Praja Rajyam founded by Tollwood star Chiranjeevi. The article informs the readers that there are simmering differences between Chiranjeevi, his brother-in-law and Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) general secretary Allu Aravind. The report also claims that Aravind was greedy and resorting to illegal activities in allotting Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and Lok Sabha seats to prospective candidates without the knowledge of party president Chiranjeevi. The article also claims that Pawan Kalyan and Nagababu, brothers of Chiranjeevi are angry with Allu Aravind for his excessive interference in the PRP internal affairs.

The entire article shows PRP in poor light and painting Allu Aravind as a villain spoiling the chances of Chiranjeevi by resorting to questionable means in the allotment of AP Assembly and LS seats.

Even a dimwit, who reads this article can easily detect the intention of mala fide in the content and style of presentation of the article. Moreover, no other vernacular daily or the English dailies carried any news item on the issues raised in the article published in Surya Telugu news paper. Obviously, this article is the product of a figment of imagination of the author and intentionally written with ulterior motives to defame Allu Aravind.

The publication of “ Raguluthunna Kutumba Rajyam” in Syrya raises some fundamental questions of propriety, publishing ethics and the essence of Election Code.

Nookarapu Suryaprakasha Rao, publisher of Surya Telugu daily news paper is the official candidate of Telugu Desam Party for the Lok Sabha from Anakapalle constituency. Allu Aravind is the official candidate of Praja Rajyam Party.

Therefore, it is obvious that NS Rao, publisher of Surya, is slinging mud at Allu Aravind who is his political rival in the Anakapalle Ls constituency.

How many voters in the Anakapalle LS constituency know that NS Rao is the publisher of Surya daily newspaper ? What if some less informed voters read this article, take it on its face value and believe that Allu Arjun is a villain? Is not Aluu Aravind at a disadvantage, because NS Rao is using his paper Surya to malign him? Is it not true that NS Rao, as TDP candidate and Publisher of Surya, is at an unfair advantage against his rival Allu Aravind of PRP?

Though, the Election Code has no specific provision about news paper articles, the news item “ Raguluthunna Kutumba Rajyam” clearly violates the spirit of the Election Code, because NS Rao is using his news paper Surya as an instrument of election propaganda and canvassing his candidature indirectly by unfairly and directly defaming his rival Allu Aravind in the arena of Anakapalle LS constituency.

The Election Commission should take action suo motu to direct Nookarapu Suryaprakasha Rao to stop publishing his Telugu daily news paper Surya until the elections are over since he is using his news paper Surya as his election canvassing instrument and publishing articles damaging the prospects of his rival in the elections.

Similarly, the Election Commission also should give a directive to stop the publication of Saakshi Telugu daily news paper and Siasat Urdu daily news paper until the elections are over because YS Jaganmohan Reddy, publisher of Saakshi, is contesting Kadapa LS seat as a Congress candidate and Zahid Ali Khan, publisher of Siasat, is contesting Hyderabad LS seat as an independent supported by TDP, TRS, CPI and CPM grand alliance or Mahakootami.

This is an issue worthy of deserving the filing of a Public Interest Litigation in the AP High Court.

Newspaper Editors, where are your Ethics and your oath to abide by the Election Code? Just because one owns a daily news paper, it does not give him or her the dubious right to brainwash its readers, who are also the voters, by publishing half-truths, lies and true lies.

Deen Kumar

Click Here To Surya article “ Raguluthunna Kutumba Rajyam “

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