The Election Commission in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday banned the ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ advertisement of the Congress party and ordered an end to its broadcast.

The Joint Chief Election Officer on Wednesday issued a notice to all the state district officers saying that the media certification and inspection committee has cancelled the ad certification and it should be discontinued.

The Bharatiya Janata Party had earlier complained to the Chief Election Officer saying that the ad was offensive and defamatory in nature.

Chief Election Officer VL Kantarao has directed action against the Congress, besides issuing a notice to the party.

The BJP had on Tuesday urged the Election Commission (EC) to ban Congress president Rahul Gandhi from campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls and impose the “heaviest penalty” on him, saying he levelled false allegations against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Rafale aircraft deal.

A BJP delegation comprising Union ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad and Hardeep Singh Puri among others met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora with the complaint and demanded action against Gandhi for repeatedly using the term ‘chowkidar chor hai’ and making false attributions to the Supreme Court.

Demanding strict action against Gandhi, the Union law minister also said that the Congress chief’s behaviour was in violation of the model code of conduct (MCC).

Rahul Gandhi, while welcoming the Supreme Court’s decision to examine fresh revelations on the Rafale deal on April 10, made remarks about the prime minister and corruption. Gandhi claimed a moral victory and said that the court has made it clear that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “committed theft”.

“The Supreme Court has made it clear that ‘chowkidarji’ (watchman) has committed a theft,” Gandhi told reporters during a rally in Amethi.

PM Modi and his party men have launched the ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ (I too am a watchman) campaign to blunt the Opposition’s ‘chowkidar chor hai’ (watchman is a thief) slogan.

Meanwhile, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Thursday filed a defamation case against Congress President Rahul Gandhi for his reported statement that “all thieves have Modi in their surnames”.

The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader told the media that his lawyer filed the case in the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s (CJM) court in Patna under Section 500 of the IPC.

(With agency inputs)