In absence of proper compliance of advertising bylaws, auto-rickshaws are being used as a medium by the political parties to reach out to the masses by putting up their posters on the rear side of the vehicle.
Even though the municipal corporation (MC) authorities say advertisements on auto-rickshaws invite imposition of fine, the parties are going ahead with their campaigning. The MC authorities await a complaint to act, instead of issuing notices on their own.
MC sub-inspector (enforcement) DP Singh said, "The autos are not allowed to display advertisement, and if found, a fine of `100 per square foot per day is imposed. The fine is imposed on the company or party whose poster is displayed. A correspondence is also being sent against the erring auto-rickshaw to the traffic police."
He added, "As of now, we have not received any complaint regarding the displaying of political party posters on auto-rickshaws."
Another medium which is fast picking up is printing material for cars. Stickers and posters of different parties are being put up on cars. Private vehicles can be seen zipping around, declaring support with different parties.
Meanwhile, as the Lok Sabha polls are round the corner the, auto drivers are busy working out rates to be charged from different parties for putting up posters. Autos with political posters on the rear side is a common site, as it is considered the most-cheapest mode and at the same time a large number of people can be approached through the medium.
A visit to some of the auto stands revealed that the drivers charge anywhere between `300 and `500 per month for displaying the posters.
Mahesh, an auto driver at the Sector-22 stand, said, "We take unanimous decision about all autos and convey to the party about charges."
Another auto driver Suresh said, "I do not like putting anyone's posters on my vehicle and have declined supporting them."
The political parties off the record admitted paying auto drivers, but on record said, "The drivers put up posters as per their own will."
President of city unit of BJP Sanjay Tandon said, "We do not pay anyone for displaying posters on autos. If someone has put them up it is completely their decision."
Adding to this, Gurjusjit Singh, member of Aam Aadmi Party, said, "We have never forced anyone to show their support to the party by paying. The auto drivers are displaying the posters on their own as they fell like supporting the party."
AAP to focus on traffic awareness on its posters
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to send out traffic awareness messages while campaigning for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Party member Gurjusjit Singh said they were planning to come out with leaflets and other printing material which residents could put up on their vehicles.
The material would not only have the party name, but also traffic awareness messages such as: 'Do not jump red light', 'Abide by lane driving' and 'over speeding kills'. The party members held a meeting in which it was discussed that if pamphlets and posters giving out messages were printed they would also create awareness among residents.