The Election Commission (EC) has directed petrol pumps to remove hoardings that carry pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi within 72 hours as five states are to go to polls later this month.
The polls body has directed to remove hoardings related to central government schemes with photographs of PM Modi in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The Commission has termed these hoardings as violations of the Model Code of Conduct.
The direction came after West Bengal’s ruling party Trinamool Congress complained about hoardings, after which the Election Commission took this step.
It may be noted that the Model of conduct came into effect last week when EC announced dates for assembly elections in the four states and Puducherry.
On Wednesday, EC said that special, general and police observers will jointly approve the election security plan and the deployment of personnel of the state police and the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF). The scheme will create a committee of Chief Electoral Officer, Nodal Officer of State Police and Coordinator of State CAPF. In a directive given to all states and union territories, the Election Commission said that it had already instructed the Chief Electoral Officer of the state, the nodal officer of the state police and a committee of the state CAPF to direct the ‘Election Protection Plan’ and the state police and will jointly decide on the deployment of personnel of the Central Armed Police Force.
Election dates were announced on 26 February
On 26 February, the Election Commission announced the schedule of assembly elections in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Addressing a brief meeting of observers to be deployed in the assembly elections, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora warned that the commission will act quickly and strictly if it is found to be slack in discharging its duties. He said that the Election Commission will not tolerate any willful omission.