Ads with PM Modi or state chief ministers should be removed from poll-bound states: EC

New Delhi: The Election Commission has asked the poll machinery in the five poll-bound states to either cover or remove photographs of political leaders on all hoardings and advertisements which seek to project the achievements of any living political functionary or political party.

The commission gave these fresh directions by reiterating its instructions issued on 12 December, 2004 after the chief electoral officer of Goa raised the issue after the election schedule was announced on 4 January.

Men walk past a hoarding of Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), outside the party headquarters in New Delhi May 12, 2014. Indians voted on the last day of a mammoth election on Monday as challenger Modi sought a personal mandate in the holy city of Varanasi, crowning his campaign to rule the country with a mix of pro-business policies and Hindu nationalism. The hoarding reads, "Excellent India". REUTERS/Adnan Abidi (INDIA - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS)

Representational image. Reuters

The poll watchdog said photos in advertisements or hoardings of similar type should also be removed or "covered suitably" so that spirit of its instructions is fully complied with.

It, however, made it clear that hoardings put up by the government which convey general message to the masses on family planning or social welfare schemes "may be allowed to be displayed".

"However, all those hoardings, advertisements which seek or purport to project the achievements of any living political functionary or political party and which carry their photos or name or party symbol should be removed forthwith...

"...No political party or functionary can use public resources and incur or authorise expenditure from public exchequer to eulogise himself or itself or enhance his/its own or any political leader's image," it said.

The poll panel made it clear that such images or hoardings "undoubtedly amount to their individual/party election campaign at public cost".

Between 4 February and 8 March, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur are going for Assembly polls and the Model Code of Conduct came into force on 4 January when the schedule was announced.

Published Date: Jan 10, 2017 15:42 PM | Updated Date: Jan 10, 2017 18:05 PM

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