Leaders from the grand alliance in Bihar today urged the Election Commission to order the removal of banners and posters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah from the Patna airport, saying they are “flagrant violation of norms”.
A delegation comprising of K C Tyagi (JD-U), R P N Singh (Congress), Manoj Jha (RJD) alongwith eminent lawyer K T S Tulsi submitted a memorandum to the Chief Election Commissioner giving details of such posters and banners carrying the pictures of BJP leaders and its election symbol at the airport.
“The delegation told the Election Commission that the airports and railways stations have been used by the ruling party at the Centre for its propaganda” in the state where assembly polls are underway, Congress leader R P N Singh said.
He said the Commission told them that no permission has been granted to put up the hoardings at government buildings including airports or railway stations.
In their letter to the EC, the delegation said that the “flagrant violation” could not have escaped the Commission’s notice on its recent Patna visit as over a dozen banners are on display inside the airport with pictures of Modi, Shah and lotus election symbol of BJP.
“Public places belonging to the government cannot be allowed to be used and worse monopolised by the party in power,” they said.
The leaders also drew the attention of the EC to its earlier order when in 2012 UP elections, giant statues of elephants (election symbol of BSP) were covered when model code of conduct was in force in the state.
In the letter, they also pointed out that the EC had reprimanded the Haryana Government in 2005 for issuance of a press note on establishing polytechnics.
The leaders in their letter also said that another significant violation of EC norms happening in Bihar is that advertisements issued are not being forwarded to the poll watchdog before their publication as per norms.
“It is thus incomprehensible and thus shocking that the Commission has refrained from giving any direction to remove the advertisements from the Lok Nayak Jaya Prakash airport at Patna,” the letter said.
The leaders demanded that in the interest of free and fair elections, the EC should direct immediate removal of all the banners installed within the airport or being displayed at public places without the approval of the Election Commission.