To curb surrogate advertising of central or state schemes by governments in the five poll-bound states, the Election Commission has written to all Chief Secretaries directing them not to advertise such welfare schemes.
In a communication to all states, the Commission has said that states, other than those in which assembly polls are held, should not put out advertisements in the media highlighting the central and state schemes. The poll watchdog felt such advertisements could disturb the level-playing field during the assembly elections.
It also felt such advertisements gave advantage to the ruling party at the Centre and has asked the states to desist from putting out such advertisements. The EC directive comes in the wake of certain states giving advertisements in Delhi highlighting the central schemes implemented in their states. This, the Commission felt, gave advantage to the party in power at the Centre and has asked the states not to do so.
The EC has tried to provide a level-playing field to all and is strictly monitoring the violations of the Model Code of Conduct which is in force in the five states where assembly polls will start from November 11 and end on December 4.
Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mizoram are going to polls to elect new state assemblies. While polls in Chhattisgarh will be held in two phases on November 11 and 19, that in Madhya Pradesh will be held on November 25, in Rajasthan on December 1 and Delhi and Mizoram on December 4. Counting will take place on December 8.