The Election Commission of India (ECI) has barred the ruling BJP in Gujarat from using word ‘Pappu’ in an advertisement in the electronic media that apparently targeted Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. The Commission called it ‘derogatory.’

Sources in the BJP said the script of the advertisement did not link the word to any individual. The media committee under Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) BB Swain objected to the word mentioned in the script of the advertisement that was submitted by the party for approval last month.

“Before making any election-related advertisement, we have to submit a script to the committee to get a certificate. However, they raised an objection to the word ‘Pappu,’ saying it is derogatory. They asked us to remove or replace it,” a senior BJP leader said.

The party would replace the word and submit a new script for the ECI’s approval. “Since there was no direct mention or linkage with any person while mentioning ‘Pappu’ in the entire script, we had appealed to the committee to reconsider their decision, but they rejected it. Now, we will change that word and submit a new script for approval,” he said.

When contacted, Swain said he was not aware of any such development and could comment only after getting details.