March 4, 2009 1:48:21 am
Following the Election Commissions orders,a large number of hoardings,flex boards and posters of Chief Minister Narendra Modi and state ministers put up at almost every street corner across the state are being removed.
The EC has appointed IAS officer T Natarajan as the additional chief electoral officer to oversee effective implementation of the model code of conduct,which came into force immediately after it announced on Monday the schedule of the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
State Chief Electoral Officer Anita Karwal told Newsline that the 1996 batch Gujarat cadre IAS officer Natarajan,serving in the Revenue Department as the Superintendent of Stamps,was appointed the additional CEO exclusively for overseeing the implementation of the code of conduct. Natarajans term will be for only three months and he will be sent back to the Secretariat job after the poll process gets over. The present additional CEO Ashok Manek will look after other election-related work,it was informed.
Asserting that the EC will deal firmly with any political party found violating the model code of conduct,Karwal said her office has already directed all the collectors,who are also the district election officers (DEOs),to remove all hoardings and posters of political leaders,including those of the CM and ministers,put up at public places and along the roads/highways across the state.
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The DEOs have also been instructed to ensure that the advertisements containing the visuals of the CM and other ministers propagating various government schemes and projects on the state transport buses are removed forthwith.
The official said the DEOs have already formed teams comprising district officials on election duty in their respective areas to ensure effective implementation of the model code. They have also been directed to see to it that mayors and other office-bearers of municipal corporations,chairpersons of the government-owned boards/corporations and presidents of panchayat bodies do not use official cars during the election campaign.
Besides,no ministers or political leaders will be allowed to attend government-sponsored public functions,nor will they be permitted to take part in inaugurations and foundation laying ceremonies till the code of conduct remains in force.
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