Eight people have been arrested for putting "Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao" posters in different areas of Ahmedabad. The arrests come just a day after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) launched a nationwide poster campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to the Ahmedabad Police, a case has been registered and further probe into the matter is underway.
The Ahmedabad Police said "objectionable posters" posters were put up in various parts of the city in an "unauthorised manner".
Gujarat AAP chief Isudan Gadhvi said those who were arrested are party workers. Mr Gadhvi accused the BJP of "dictatorship" and claimed that the arrests are a sign that the party is "scared".
"Look at the dictatorship of BJP! Aam Aadmi Party workers in Gujarat have been jailed under various sections of the IPC in connection with the posters of Modi hatao desh bachao! If this is not fear of Modi and BJP, then what else? Try as hard as you want! Aam Aadmi Party workers will fight," Mr Gadhvi tweeted.
भाजपा की तानाशाही देखो ! मोदी हटाओ देश बचाओ के पोस्टर मामले में गुजरात में आम आदमी पार्टी के कार्यकताओं पे आईपीसी की विविध धाराए लगा कर जेल में बंध कर दिया है !ये मोदी और भाजपा का डर नहीं है तो और क्या है ? चाहे जितना भी ज़ोर लगा लो ! आम आदमी पार्टी के कार्यकर्ता लड़ेंगे !— Isudan Gadhvi (@isudan_gadhvi) March 30, 2023
The AAP's "Modi Hatao, Desh Bachao" campaign was launched in 11 languages across the country. Besides English, Hindi and Urdu, posters have been released in Gujarati, Punjabi, Telugu, Bengali, Oriya, Kannada, Malayalam and Marathi as well.
Last week, thousands of posters targetting the PM appeared on walls in the national capital, triggering a massive police crackdown in which 49 FIRs were registered and six people were arrested. Two of the men arrested owned a printing press.
The Delhi Police said that the arrests were made for defacing public property and for the fact that the posters did not carry the name of the printing press where they were printed, as required by law.
Responding to the arrests, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said even the British did not arrest those who put up posters against them during the independence movement.
"Even before independence when freedom fighters used to put up posters, there were no FIRs or action against them by the British," Mr Kejriwal said as quoted by news agency PTI. "Bhagat Singh had pasted a lot of posters during the British rule, not a single FIR was lodged against him."
Last year, AAP won five seats and secured 13 per cent of the popular vote in the Gujarat Assembly elections. BJP, as was expected, recorded 156 wins in the 182-seat strong Assembly.