AAP, BJP fight over hoardings ahead of Goa polls

Panaji, Dec 22 (IANS) The Goa unit of AAP on Thursday accused the ruling BJP of a ‘Gestapo-like’ campaign, claiming that outdoor publicity companies signed by it to erect party hoardings are being threatened by police.

Police are threatening to pull down election hoardings of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the party said.

The ruling party also complained to the Goa Director General of Police and the Chief Electoral Officer, accusing the AAP of running a malicious campaigns against Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.

The campaign is casting aspersions on his image ahead of state assembly elections, the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) said.

“Businessmen, whom we have been engaged for putting up hoardings are being threatened by the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) of Goa Police, asking them to pull down the hoardings… Are we heading towards Gestapo rule,” AAP’s Goa unit spokesperson Dr. Oscar Rebello said.

The hoardings in question feature two images — one of AAP’s chief ministerial candidate Elvis Gomes and that of Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, along with a question in bold letters: “Who will save Goa?”

While Gomes’ photo accompanies word ‘honest’, alongside Parsekar’s image, there are three question marks.

The hoardings have been erected at several vantage points across the state.

On its two complaints, the BJP has said: “This is insinuating, derogatory and highly malicious in nature, as the AAP is purposely trying to malign the image of the Chief Minister and at the same time trying to create unrest in the society ahead of the forthcoming elections in the state of Goa.”

The BJP has claimed that the hoardings are “aimed specifically at maligning the public perception and image of the honourable Chief Minister of Goa”, as they question his honesty.

“The AAP is setting wrong precedents in the run-up to the assembly elections in the state of Goa,” the complaints say.

Polls to the state Legislative Assembly are likely early next year.