‘Add appropriate clauses toby-laws for prohibition’

State Chief Electoral Officer Rajat Kumar has issued orders prohibiting the use of premises of the government or public sector undertakings for display of political advertisements.

The officials concerned were asked not to allow display of political advertisements even if commercial spaces were available in the premises of the government offices or PSUs in line with the instructions issued by the Election Commission of India.

‘Enforce poll code’

In the event of the PSUs do not have any by-laws or in their agreements with the ad agencies to whom the space would be left out prohibiting display of political ads, they should forthwith add a clause in their commercial agreements with these agencies providing for prohibition.

According to Mr. Rajat Kumar, the PSUs should incorporate the clause: “No political advertisement shall be displayed/pasted at the space provided on lease for commercial ads in airports, railway stations, railway-bridges, government buses, public buildings, electric and telephone poles, municipal/local bodies buildings, inter-state/local bus stands, government transportation/ post offices, government hospitals/dispensaries during [enforcement of] the model code of conduct”.

Highways exempted

Exemptions would, however, be given to main highways, main roads and others.

The authorities concerned were directed to remove the political ads on such spaces if they were already there.

In case of halls/auditoriums/ meeting venues owned/controlled by government/local authorities, the allocation should be made on equitable basis and there should not be any monopolisation by any political party or candidate.

Officials concerned could permit display of banners, buntings, flags and cut-outs during the period of the meeting subject to restrictions under law/guidelines in force and these should be removed immediately or within a reasonable time after the conclusion of the event.

Specially earmarked

Instructions were also circulated relating to the specially earmarked space for display of advertisements such as bill boards and hoardings.

It mandated the DEOs concerned to ensure that all political parties and candidates received equal opportunity for access to such space.

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