EC questions govt. morality, orders removal of 'feel good' hoardings

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission, responsible for overseeing the process of elections in India, has directed the government to pull down hoardings around the country, which had been put up by the government highlighting its achievements.



In a press briefing today, the EC said that it has conveyed to the government that hoardings depicting achievements of both the central and state governments would have to be removed.

The reason cited by EC is that such hoardings mean spending public money at a juncture when the outgoing government doesn't have any moral authority to do so just before the elections.

The EC order may affect the campaign plans of parties in power both at the Centre and in the states - some states are ruled by the Congress and its allies - to the extent that government-sponsored outdoor hoardings constitute an important part of political campaign.

Though exact numbers of hoardings that have been put up are not forthcoming, but it is estimated that more than 1,000 hoardings could have been put up by the governments at the Centre and states.

At the time of writing the report, the BJP and the government had not come up with a reaction to the latest EC directive.

The latest missive from the EC on hoardings is in line with its proactive role since the time T N Seshan graced Nirvachan Sadan as the chief election commissioner in 1990s. Since then all successive CECs have cracked the whip during various elections, especially when it came to the media spendings of the government in power.

So much so that today the Election Commission said it was ''gathering facts'' about the reported violation of the model code of conduct by deputy prime minister L K Advani at a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) function yesterday where he dwelt on the feel-good factor, which is being extensively by the government in the run-up to the elections.

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