The INC has recently approached the Election Commission of India demanding that the body look into the advertisements being published by the state governments in the newspapers and to curb issues advisories for the state government parties before the elections. This has especially happened after the Telangana state government took out full- paged advertisements with the picture of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.
In a letter to the Election Commissioner, O.P. Rawat writes, “Of late, the people of India are witnessing the excessive propensity of State governments and Chief Ministers to put in large advertisements in national newspapers at public expense. It’s an abhorrent practice and a blatant misuse of public funds… Directions and orders are issued to officers of State machinery to mobilise and aggregate paid crowds and then to have the event televised and publicised through press and media.”
The Chairman of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) Legal and Human Rights department Vivek Tankha has also urged the EC to issue “peremptory” orders to the Telangana chief secretary just to ensure that no public money is used for a party’s promotion.
“Of late, the people of India are witnessing excessive propensity on the part of the state governments and the Chief Ministers to put in large advertisements in national newspapers at public expense. It is an abhorrent practice and blatant misuse of public funds,” read another excerpt of the letter.
The Indian National Congress (INC) has also asked the Commission to restrict the state governments of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan to immediately stop public funds being used in yatras like Jan Ashirwad, Gaurav Yatra and Vikas Yatra for promotions of a party.
He added that lately, it is being observed that there has been an increased “propensity” by state governments and chief ministers to put in large advertisements in newspapers at public expenses. “It is an abhorrent practice and blatant misuse of public funds,” he said with regard to the issue.