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‘Saamana’ has no intention to breach poll code: Raut to SEC on BJP complaint

09:05 AM May 30, 2019 | Free Press Journal Correspondant

Mumbai: Responding to the BJP’s complaint on publication of ‘objectionable’ content in Shiv Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’, its executive editor Sanjay Raut today wrote to the State Election Commission saying the daily had no intention to violate the poll code which is in force for ongoing civic and local bodies elections.

Defending the party mouthpiece on the ground of ‘style of aggressive reporting’, Raut stated the report objected to by some (read BJP) may appear aggressive compared to other newspapers on an identical issue, but there was no intention to flout the poll code.

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The BJP had written to the SEC on February 15 objecting to publication of certain content in the morninger, following which the poll watchdog asked ‘Saamana’ to respond. “Despite having an aggressive tone in its reporting, ‘Saamana’ has always adhered to the guidelines and framework of the election commission. The newspaper has always respected its rules. The newspaper has always been raising its voice against the anti-nationals and goons, but some always had a bias towards the daily. The complaint seems to be a part of it,” Raut said in the letter.

The news item which has been objected to is in reality is a reportage and that similar reportage is published by other newspapers as well, it said. “‘Saamna’ has its own style, which may found comparatively aggressive. But, there was no intention to violate any precedence, model code of conduct or any rule. And, we have nothing to say about those who have a bias that led to such complaint against ‘Saamna’. Saamna has a clear and transparent stand and we will continue our duty to carry forward nationalistic thoughts,” the letter stated.

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BJP spokesperson Shweta Shalini had written to the SEC seeking ban on publication of the Sena mouthpiece on February 16, 20 and 21, claiming the daily would ‘impress’ voters even after campaigning for civic polls comes to end. Meanwhile, in a tweet today, she said, “Chief Minister’s behaviour was influential enough to make Saamna transparent. Had (Shiv) Sena agreed to transparent functioning, the alliance would not have broken.” Shiv Sena and BJP, the NDA allies, are fighting the civic polls, including the high-stake BMC slated for February 21, separately.

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