WITH THE model code of conduct in force ahead of the civic elections in the national capital, the State Election Commission (SEC) on Wednesday ordered the removal of the word “aam” in all forms of display ahead of general elections to the three MCDs.
Hoardings, banners, billboards and even nameplates that include the word “aam” will be removed from public display post the SEC order. Speaking to The Indian Express, State Election Commissioner S K Srivastava said a compliance report has been sought from the state government and commissioners of the three MCDs by Thursday.
“Posters or banners put up on government expenditure which carry the picture of any politician or bear a party name will have to be removed,” Srivastava said.
The order has come after a complaint by BJP MLA Vijender Gupta who claimed that names like Aam Aadmi Mohalla Clinics, Aam Aadmi Bypass Express service would influence people to vote for the ruling party.
State BJP president Manoj Tiwari said the SEC order “vindicates our long-standing position in the matter that all this is unlawful”. Tiwari said the Delhi BJP has repeatedly raised this issue through letters and demonstrations but the Arvind Kejriwal government took no note and spent “hundreds of crores on mischievous publicity”.
However, crying foul, AAP Delhi unit convener Dilip Pandey, Wednesday wrote to the poll panel complaining that the Delhi government and the AAP were not given a hearing before the decision was made. He argued that if the words “aam” in government schemes were linked to the party, then words like “Bharatiya”, “Janata”, “Indian” and “National” should also be removed.
“What shocks us is that the SEC is acting as a subordinate of its political masters and is taking orders from them,” Pandey wrote. He has now demanded a hearing in the matter and a review of the decision.