EC orders removal of MGR-Jaya posters

The Election Commission on Thursday ordered local authorities in Tamil Nadu’s southern districts to remove film posters showing Chief Minister Jayalalitha and AIADMK founder and thespian M G Ramachandran, meant to promote the digital release of the Tamil blockbuster Aayirathil Oruvan.

Film distributors have maintained that the posters were meant only to promote the movie’s digital version, rejecting claims of political motives.

They have put up banners and posters in Coimbatore, Erode, Nilgiris and Tirupur showing MGR, in a lead role in the 60s hit movie, and Jayalalitha, who appears in an important role.
However, the EC has taken a serious note of the issue and has ordered local authorities to remove the posters, maintaining that it violates the model poll code of conduct.

“Posters in public places belonging to any political leader or their party is a violation of model code of conduct. We have asked the authorities concerned to remove it immediately”, Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar told Deccan Herald.

The panel has also advised collectors of all districts to watch for breach of model code in their areas. “They (collectors) were instructed not to allow such posters till the election is over”, he added.

The official said that though the commission cannot ban the screening of the movie, it can restrict display of posters in the theatre premises.

Meanwhile, objecting to the movie’s release, the DMDK has alleged that it is a deliberate attempt to bypass the model code.

A senior DMDK leader said: “Will they (Election Commission) allow us to put up our captain’s (Vijayakanth) movie posters, as he has also acted in more than 100 movies?”
Aayirathil Oruvan’ starring MGR and Jayalalitha, is hitting the screens in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala on Friday.

The pair have featured in several Tamil box office hits through the 1960s and 1970s such as Kavalkaran, Adimai Penn and Engal Thangam .

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