EC's order against graffiti evokes protests in Bengal

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Kolkata, Oct 23 (UNI) All major political parties, including the ruling CPI(M), today voiced their protest against the Election Commission's(EC) directive against graffiti on the walls of private houses for the coming Assembly and municipal elections in West Bengal.

The parties, including the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, have observed that the move would entail more expenditure when it comes to campaigning for the polls.

'' We have an objection. The directive needs correction in a few places. Wall writing is more important than putting up hoardings when it comes to campaign before polls in West Bengal. If the EC has allowed putting up flags, banners and hoardings of the political parties on private buildings, then why not graffiti? '' PCC's acting president Pradip Bhattacharjee wondered.

State's Chief Electoral Officer Debashis Sen has issued an order yesterday that only hoardings, political flags and banners could be put up on private buildings with the permission of the house-owner.

It was mentioned that the graffiti and posters, which are not easily removable, would not be allowed.

'' The EC should change its direction. We will voice our protest to the EC through the AICC,'' Mr Bhattacharjee said.

Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee batted for graffiti, stating that the EC's directive would lead to more spending by a political party towards meeting the cost for election campaigning.

Commenting on the controversy, Left Front chairman Biman Bose observed that the Election Commission should either bear the cost of conducting the election or guide us on how to lessen the expenditure.

He said graffiti, being cheaper than hoardings, should be allowed, if the house-owners had no objection.

UNI AKM SB/src2003

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