(Illustration by Manali Ghosh)
THE CONGRESS on Sunday approached the Election Commission, asking it to issue advisories to the chief ministers of poll-bound states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh to stop all public expenditure on yatras undertaken by them.
In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat, Congress’s legal department chairman Vivek Tankha claimed that the governments of “Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh… have indulged n rampant extravagant publicity by way of Jan Ashirwad Yatra, Gaurav Yatra and Vikas Yatra respectively at the state’s expenses”.
“In view of the impending elections in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, chief secretaries of the states should be sent an advisory to stop all public expenditure on the yatras of chief ministers by whatsoever name they are conducted as these are party-motivated yatras and have no element of public interest involved. Officers of the state machinery should also refrain from supporting these yatras except in sofar as it involves discharge of bona fide public duties for which they have been appointed,” he said.
He also asked the poll panel to issue pre-emptory orders to the chief secretary of Telangana to ensure that no public money is utilised by the caretaker government on advertisements with pictures of the caretaker chief minister till the conclusion of the election. This, he said, “should also include taking off all hoardings, banners and advertisements etc presently in public domain before dissolution of the state assembly. These provide unfair publicity to the ruling party of the election borne state”.
with the Express Morning Briefing