South Corpn 'violates' poll code, issues political statements

South Corpn 'violates' poll code, issues political statements

In an apparent violation of model code of conduct, the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled South Corporation has been sending press releases which appear to be political in nature.

On March 7, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation sent a press note in the name of Leader of the House Subhash Arya condemning “the violent protest by the Aam Aadmi Party volunteers at the BJP headquarter on Ashoka Road”.

The press release, ironically, said that such kind of violent demonstration after announcement of Lok Sabha elections is violation of model code of conduct.

“Arya said that the protest at the gate of the BJP office shows AAP’s undemocratic and anarchist character. It shows ideologue of Arvind Kejriwal and his volunteers. Arya urges that the Election Commission to cancel recognition given to Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party with immediate effect,” added the press note.

When Deccan Herald brought the issue to the notice of the Delhi Electoral Office, an official handling poll code violations said that anybody using the government machinery for his vested interests amounts to violation of model code of conduct.
“We will look into the matter,” he added.

But Arya said the legislators of the civic body are meeting daily and the information about routine work can be sent as a press release.

“It’s not a violation of model code of conduct. We aren’t doing any announcement of new projects which leads to poll code violation.”

On March 12, the South Corporation sent a press release in the name of Mayor Sarita Chaudhary condemning the opposition Congress party’s move to politicise the issue
of putting up a hoarding at a water cooler on Lodhi Road.

“Leader of Opposition Farhad Suri is doing politics on the issue of installing a hoarding at water cooler. It is a public service facility and our intention is just to serve the citizens. No revenue will be generated from this scheme,” said the press note.

Unlike the south civic agency, North and East corporations have stopped sending press release after the model code of conduct came into force on March 5.

“We aren’t sending press notes as they lead to poll code violations,” said an official with press and information directorate of North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

“Even tenders can’t be floated without Election Commission’s permission,” the official added.

On March 15, there was an advertisement inviting e-tenders in one of the prominent english newspapers by the Public Works Department of Delhi government.