EC okays Ramdev's yoga camp but warns not to use it politically

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New Delhi, Oct 10: The Election Commission (EC) has given its nod for a yoga camp to be conducted by Baba Ramdev in the national capital from Thursday while warning the organisers against using the venue for political purposes. Disposing of a complaint against the holding of the camp at Dwarka in Delhi, the EC said the event may be allowed to go ahead, but with a few riders.

It said there will be no formal or publicised inauguration or closing ceremonies for the camp attended by political functionaries as chief guests or special invitees. It also said that no distribution of any publicity material in any medium (print, electronic or digital) of any political party shall be permitted at the camp. "Organisers should be directed to ensure that the venue for the camp is not used for political campaigning by anybody," the EC said.

It added that any violation of its instructions, including by the organisers, will invite strict action under the relevant laws/rules and the Model Code of Conduct, including withdrawal of the permission to hold the camp. 

The poll panel disposed of a complaint against holding the camp at Dwarka

"Organisers may also be informed that any direct/indirect political message from the camp will be viewed seriously and the entire expenditure for it will then be treated as having been made on election campaigning. (The expenses will be then) booked under relevant provisions of the election expenditure of contesting candidates under the Representation of the People Act, 1951," it said.

The EC also asked local authorities to get an undertaking from the organisers that they will adhere to all the conditions laid down before them. It also asked for the camp to be videographed.


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