A Kannada newspaper, on February 2, had a 10-page coverage of the 2017-18 budget and each one of these pages had cartoons of BJP leaders
What caught the eye of MLA Aravind Limbavali was the cartoon which appeared on page 10.
The cartoon was based on the poster of the Kannada Film Kirik Party.
The Kannada Prabha toon reads ‘Budget Party’ with Narendra Modi and Smriti Irani sitting on a yellow car and Amit Shah, Venkaiah Naidu and Arun Jaitley trying to push the car forward. Modi and Smriti Irani have replaced Rakshit Shetty and Rashmika Mandanna, a lead pair in the movie.
Aravind Limbavali, the BJP MLA from Mahadevapura, had issued a press note on Saturday, claiming that the cartoon is defamatory.
Addressing the issue, Limbavali said that the cartoon portrayed BJP leaders in a bad light.
“Prime Minister Modi is sitting on a car with a girl and Amit Shah is also looking at the girl while pushing the car. Arun Jaitley and other BJP leaders are shown pushing the vehicle. The cartoon tries to convey a wrong impression of Modi and the BJP. Hence, I am expressing my disappointment for defaming the Prime Minister,” Limbavali said.
The newspaper immediately put out an unconditional apology, stating that neither the newspaper, nor the artist had any intention of defaming BJP leaders.
“On Feb 2, a cartoon appeared of PM Modi and his party members based on a Kannada movie poster. Neither the newspaper nor the artist had any intention of defaming or insulting our honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP National President Amit Shah, Ananth Kumar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley or Smriti Irani while working on it,” the apology reads.
It goes on to say that the members of Kannada Prabha’s editorial have been sensitised of the issue. The paper also thanked those who brought the “unfortunate error” to their notice.
“Everyone in Kannada Prabha has been sensitised of this issue. If we had taken a closer look at the implication of the cartoon, we would not have published it. The publication of this cartoon has pained several Kannada Prabha readers and we offer them our apologies. We thank everyone who brought to notice this unfortunate mistake,” the apology states.