Election Commission Seeks Clarification From Odisha Govt On Use Of BJD Symbol In Ads

Bhubaneswar: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has sought a clarification from Odisha government for alleged use of ruling BJD symbol in its advertisements.

According to sources, the Commission had received complaints that the ‘conch’ symbol of BJD was being displayed prominently in various advertisements of government schemes and plans in newspapers, TV channels and huge hoardings.

The Commission considered the advertisements as violation of its instructions issued in October 2016. “The Commission is of the view that utilising public funds/public places for promoting any political party or propagating its election symbol would be antithetical to the concept of free and fair election and the principle of level playing field for all stakeholders,” the instructions had read.

The ECI had also directed the political parties not to use or allow the use of any public fund or public place or government machinery for carrying out any activity that would amount to advertisement for the party or propagating the election symbol allotted to it.

The ECI has sought clarification from Chief Secretary of Odisha and general secretary of BJD on the matter by March 2 evening.

It may be noted that Assembly and Lok Sabha elections are likely to be held simultaneously in Odisha during April-May.

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