The Election Commission on Monday asked the Congress government in Karnataka to stop publishing advertisements about its work in newspapers in poll-bound Telangana and sought an explanation from it for not seeking prior approval as mandated under the poll code.
AdvertisementEarlier in the day, the BJP lodged a complaint with the Commission in the matter, alleging that the Congress has violated the Representation of the People Act and the Model Code of Conduct with its government in Karnataka putting out advertisements in the Telangana media with an eye on the November 30 assembly polls there. The BRS too approached the poll panel on the issue.
In a letter to the Karnataka chief secretary, the Commission said the state government did not obtain prior approval from it for publishing the advertisements, an action violative of the poll code instructions issued to central and state governments years ago. It also said the publication of any such advertisement by the government of Karnataka in Telangana should stop with immediate effect till necessary approvals are taken by the state government from the Commission.
Ballot boxes to EVMs: Incredible journey of Election Commission indelibly inked in history
Election Commission to deploy 150 companies of central forces in Bengal in first week of March
Viacom-Star merger will substantially reduce bargaining power, says advertising industry
AdvertisementIn its letter, the Commission also asked why disciplinary action should not be taken against the secretary-in-charge of the Department of Information and Public Relations for violations of procedure as required under MCC instructions. In the past, the Commission had observed that certain advertisements highlighting welfare schemes and achievements of the central and state governments were being published by some non-poll going states in the newspapers in poll-bound states. The Commission had considered this to be a violation of the spirit of the Model Code of Conduct. In 2013, it had directed that, in future, all such advertisements issued by non-poll going states during the Model Code of Conduct period would be forwarded to the Commission for clearance before they are sent for publication in newspapers having edition or circulation in the poll-bound states. Assembly polls are due in Telangana on November 30, with the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), the Congress and the BJP locked in a keen battle.