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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

AAP hoarding pulled down, party demands action against Cong, BJP

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 09, 2013
First Published: 12:42 IST(9/10/2013) | Last Updated: 12:47 IST(9/10/2013)

Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) hoarding was pulled down by authorities from its central office building on Connaught Place's Hanuman Road – a private residential property – citing Delhi Election Commission’s model code of conduct.

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Claiming that the party did not object to pulling down of its hoarding if it was going against the law, its office holders, however, accused election authorities of not taking action against established political bigwigs – the Congress and the BJP.

Delhi goes to polls on December 4 and the one-year-old political newcomer has announced that it will contest all 70 seats.

Citing provisions of the Delhi Defacement of Properties Act 2007, wherein political boards cannot be put up on private properties, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) officials reached AAP’s Hanuman Road office late Tuesday evening.

Office bearers of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party said its workers didn’t object to the law of the land and rather cooperated in pulling down the hoarding. But it has other grievances.

Pankaj Kumar Gupta, AAP’s national secretary, drew attention to the huge hoardings at Congress’ office at Akbar Road, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee office, BJP’s office at Ashok Road and Pandit Pant Marg in contravention to the election commission’s rule of allowing political hoardings no bigger than 4’ X 8’.

“All we say is if the rule says hoardings up to 4’ X 8’ are allowed, apply the rule to all parties and all offices. Moreover, the BJP and Congress party offices located in Lutyens’ zone are necessarily residential properties turned into offices,” said Gupta.

Ankur Garg, Delhi’s chief nodal officer (model code of conduct), disagreed that it was only AAP’s office where action was taken. “Whenever there are specific complaints, with inputs about location etc, we will take action for sure. Our district officials have been instructed about this as well but there is no point in making a general complaint.”

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