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Congress asks EC to stop poll-bound states from using public funds for ads


New Delhi, Sep 9: The Congress Sunday urged the Election Commission to issue advisories to the chief ministers of poll-bound states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh to stop all public expenditure in 'yatras' undertaken by them.

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Chairman of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) Legal and Human Rights department Vivek Tankha also urged the EC to issue "peremptory" orders to the Telengana chief secretary to ensure no public money is utilised by caretaker government and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and no unfair publicity is given to the ruling party.

This should also include taking off all hoardings, banners and advertisements etc, he said in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat.

Tankha, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP, urged the EC that the chief secretaries of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh should be sent advisory to "stop all public expenditure on the 'yatras' of the chief minister" by whatever name they are conducted.

He alleged that these states have indulged in rampant "extravagant publicity" by way of Jan Ashirwad Yatra, Guarav Yatra and Vikas Yatra respectively at the state's expense.

These are party-motivated 'yatras' and have no element of public interest involved, he said.

"I am sure such directions will go a long way to enhance the credibility of the Election Commission of India and our electoral system, which in the past has received international acclaim," he said in his letter.

He said off-late the people are witnessing an increased "propensity" by the state governments and the chief ministers to put in large advertisements in newspapers at public expenses.

"It is an abhorrent practice and blatant misuse of public funds," he added.


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